Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Lactose-Free Milk Is Real Milk

This is a blog about lactose intolerance. I need to say that upfront because I take so many detours to talk about dairy-free products and lifestyles. The problem for those of us who are LI isn't dairy, of course: it's lactose. You can have all the dairy you want if you watch your lactose content, or use lactase to break down the lactose.

So here I am again, talking about real milk. Not only that, promoting the National Dairy Council. They're not our enemy.

For the National Dairy Council, lactose-free milk - milk whose lactose has been broken down by added lactase - is as much milk as any other variety. They got Deion Branch - a New England Patriots football player - milk a cow as a promotion. Branch, who's about as expert on milking as I would be, obviously would rather be facing 300 pounds of beef across a line of scrimmage, but comes through in the end.

You can see the video at this page. And if all goes well, I've embedded the video below.

If all doesn't go well, then try going directly to YouTube.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

A new website for Gluten & Dairy Free recipes is being launched. (I told you vegans and allergy sufferers that I'd have news for you soon.)

Linda Rickman, a mom with gluten intolerant kids, is another in the long line of moms who are kindly sharing what they've learned in the kitchen over the years. Rickman's site is

And here's the press release with the details.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Recipes, a new online business based in Colorado, today announced the launch of their website This new site aims to provide nutritious and delicious recipes for people who live gluten and dairy free lifestyles.

Recipe creator and Gluten Free Dairy Free website author Lisa Rickman decided to adopt a gluten and dairy free diet when she discovered a gluten intolerance in her children. Around this time, Lisa had a series of private tests done on each member of her family and determined that three of her family members had the Celiac gene, and the other two had a gluten intolerance.

Celiac disease is commonly characterized by a gluten and dairy intolerance in its carriers. It is a condition that prevents the small intestines from absorbing certain parts of food, specifically gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats and should be avoided by people with Celiac disease.

Recipes on the site range from smokin’ good chicken to gluten free pretzels, and also include gluten and dairy free desserts, low calorie shakes, and a bean bread recipe. Something for everyone!

“As a mom who wants only the best for her children and their health, that means knowing what goes into their food and ultimately their bodies,” says Rickman. “I am constantly cooking for them and with them. My hope is that they grow up knowing what is good for them and that healing can happen through food and taking care of themselves is the best way to honor their bodies. Oh yeah… and that gluten free food can taste amazing too!”

Gluten Free Dairy Free Recipes aims to accomplish the following:

• Provide recipes to the gluten and dairy free community on an ongoing basis to support this lifestyle
• Make it easy for those with dietary restrictions to eat healthy and nutritious food
• Recommend our favorite cooking products and ingredients based on experience
• Serve as a convenient, go-to website for other busy parents and individuals who strive to create the healthiest lifestyle possible for themselves and their families
• And help others enjoy their time spent in the kitchen along the way!

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Low-Lactose Milk Straight From the Source

"Scientists at a north China university say they have bred the world's first genetically-modified calf that will produce low-lactose milk in two years."

That ought to make you bolt upright in your seats, and your eyeballs pop out of your head.

Imagine. Low-lactose milk, low-lactose dairy products, low-lactose everything. That's a dream come true for those of us who are lactose intolerant. (Sorry, allergy sufferers and vegans. You can stop reading now. I'll get to articles for you pretty soon, though.)

I haven't seen anything about this breakthrough in the U.S. media, but it's big news all over Asia. That first paragraph is taken from, a Chinese English-news website, under the title of "Genetically engineered, low-lactose dairy calf bred in China."

A more detailed article can be found on Pakistan's national newspaper's site, The Nation.

The technique is similar to the one that created Dolly, the closed sheep, back in 1996. Instead of making an exact duplicate, though, one gene is changed so that the cow will produce a "lactose dissolution enzyme" that will break down the milk's lactose into glucose and galactose, exactly as the lactase in a pill does.

We're still very much in the experimental stage, so don't expect natural Chinese low-lactose milk to show up on your grocery shelves very soon. Only one of the 14 modified embryos made it to calfhood. She has to grow up and start producing milk before we know for sure that the technique is viable and that's a minimum of two years. A herd of low-lactose cows is farther out on the horizon and the generally availability of the milk is in Jetsons territory.

I'm encouraged by the news, nevertheless. It means that some scientists are actually thinking about the problem of lactose intolerance. Few if any do in the U.S. Here it's a settled issue for a tiny minority and shows no signs of ever growing in interest. Not so in Asia, where several billion LI consumers are becoming a viable market.

The path won't be easy even in Asia. Any gene changes, even for something as absolutely benign as manufacturing lactase, is like waving red flags at a segment of the population. Genetically modified (GM) foods are going to be a stormy issue all over the world. The discussion of it won't be rational, because it touches on primal feelings on what people fell is "right". And it's absolutely true that GM techniques can result - inadvertently or deliberately - in horrible harm. I know that's true because everything, every single thing, every change, every advance, every invention, every policy, every law, every idea can result - inadvertently or deliberately - in horrible harm. Banning all GM because it can result in harm deprives us of all the amazingly huge piles of good that the technique is also capable of. That's bad science and bad logic. We need to examine issues one by one to determine whether their possible value outweighs the possible ills. Low-lactose cows seem to fall squarely on the side of value. We won't know for sure for many years, but I find this good news to read.

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

Best Dairy-Free Summer Desserts

Consumer Reports is a noted buzzkill, so none of you should be surprised that they gave poor reviews to a couple of dairy-free frozen treats, as I recently reported. Those aren't the only treats for us in the world, fortunately. Starre Vartan, the self-titled Eco-Chick (and possibly self-named Starre, although who can tell these days?) reviewed Tofutti and several other brands on the Mother Nature Network. "Best Dairy-Free Summer Desserts" is her title for the article; I'm just reporting.

Coconut Bliss (and the Trader Joe’s version of it) is a slightly-coconutty flavored, richly creamy dessert. Seriously delicious, give it a try! It's gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free and vegan, and I like to mix it with the Cashewtopia (below) for a truly decadent dairy-free experience.
Best Flavor: Chocolate (which pairs ideally with the natural coconut base)

Rice Dream makes a frozen dessert based on its popular rice-based beverage. While it doesn’t taste like rice, it definitely doesn’t have the fatty, tongue-coating richness of traditional ice cream. Like Rice Dream milk, it has a bit of a watery texture, but not in a bad way; in the summer it feels like a guilt-free and more refreshing version of a heavier dessert. I find it ideal for rich-tasting smoothies and paired with granola for an afternoon snack.
Best Flavor: Creamcicle (great for smoothies with other fruits, totally delicious on its own)

Cashewtopia Gelato, by Organic Nectars is my absolute winner in the non-dairy dessert category. Made from cashew nut milk, it has a crazy-creamy texture and a is very filling, in the way that ice cream is (if you end up eating it for a meal, don’t blame me. And since it's sweetened with agave, it won't hurt your blood sugar, it's made from all raw ingredients, so retains a ton of the natural ingredients' nutrition, and is all organic. LOVE!
Best Flavor: Chocolate Hazelnut (it's a very mild chocolate but that pairs perfectly with the abundant raw hazelnuts in each bite)

Tofutti: I don’t love plain old tofutti all by its lonesome – like the tofu upon which it’s based, it really needs to be paired with something else to really ‘pop’ – I like mine with a bunch of berries swirled in (as you can probably tell, I like fruit with my desserts), or made into an ice-cream sandwich. Or you can just buy the famous and beloved Tofutti Cuties, which are mini versions of the traditional ice cream sandwich. Truly a vegan ice cream treat.
Best Flavor: Tofutti Cuties Sandwiches

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