I’ve not created a post like this before but I was inspired by emails I read from the group subscribed to Not Milk. The information is priceless. Time saving and can support so much in terms of reducing trips to the hospital etc.

So this is a space purely dedicated for you to post comments about food, labelling, restaurants, hospitals etc.


Heena 🙂

Related Posts with Thumbnails


Weavre Cooper · August 19, 2008 at 6:45 pm

“Restaurant and hospital foods can be dangerous” … Being careful at restaurants seems obvious, and I’ve greatly reduced the frequency of my reactions by learning how to communicate clearly and assertively with restaurant staff … but the risk at hospitals is just as real and far less obvious. If you’re conscious, don’t put anything in your mouth until after you consult with a dietician, and emphasize that cross-contamination must be prevented during preparation and transport. If the dietician lays out a great menu for your needs, and if the kitchen then manages to prepare it with fresh gloves away from contaminant risks, it’s all for naught if the transport person lifts lids to check what’s what and in the process some cheese falls off someone else’s salad onto your food. (I’ve twice had hospital dieticians arrange just to leave some basic seasonings in my room–garlic and onion powders, salt, and pepper for example–to keep things simpler for the kitchen staff.)

Another note about hospitals … there’s not going to be a consult with a pharmacist unless you or someone advocating for you requests it. But, many (perhaps most) prescription pills contain lactose. As someone who almost lost my life to unrecognized pharmaceutical-grade lactose in prescribed medicines, I’ve become a big advocate for checking ALL prescription medicines with a licensed pharmacist, preferably the one who already knows you and your allergy well, before taking anything. (The pharmacist will also help read labels on OTC meds if needed, of course; I just usually do that myself, since the information’s easily available.) Even IV medicines could conceivably contain milk derivatives, and the regular doctors and nurses are highly unlikely to be familiar with the need to check these for allergens of this nature. Involve a pharmacist, period.

Weavre Cooper · August 19, 2008 at 6:46 pm

2. “Cosmetics, for example, and soaps may contain milk” … In my experience, the biggest risk here isn’t from failing to read labels, which becomes habit after you’ve lived with an allergy for a time, but from situations where labels are unavailable. For example, don’t use Cracker Barrel’s fancy soaps, often found on the counter in the ladies’ room. (No idea about the men’s room, sorry!) They may contain milk, and you may not be able to see the labels. I discovered that one after getting bright red swollen hands and arms for dinner–no fun at all! Similar situations arise in other businesses and in private homes other than your own. The decorative soap decanter on the counter is pretty, but you have no idea what’s in it. I carry a little trial-size container of liquid soap, as well as a little-bitty bottle of Purell, in my purse. If I’m not sure about the soap in someone else’s bathroom, I use my own. (Cosmetics are a little easier, because we usually only use our own! But if I had a teenage daughter with a severe allergy, I’d discourage trying friends’ make-up, because it’s a more common thing to do then.)

Stefanie · August 19, 2008 at 6:52 pm

Trying to learn to shop dairy free is time consuming, but worth it! My first dairy free grocery trip took 5 hours!

The major piece of advice I have for you is: Read EVERY label- EVERY time-no matter how long you have been buying a product. I found this out the hard way when my son was small. I bought his favorite snack food and gave him some without looking at the label. He said” yucky mommy” and promptly threw up.

I looked at the box and the snack had DAIRY in it- after 3 years of NOT!

The label reading gets easier with time. Learn for YOURSELF and always always trust your instincts. Everyone learns by trial and error, but for some kids/adults – error can be deadly. I am lucky- my son is now 21 and can eat anything labeled “non-dairy” (this labeling is a misnomer- it can still have 2% dairy in it…) without too much intestinal distress.

My son grew up not eating dairy when it was a LOT harder to find non dairy foods. His classmates and teachers all knew about his milk allergy and helped him keep track. At his 4 year old birthday party one of his friends asked where the ice cream was. I reminded him that J was allergic to ice cream, so we weren’t serving any. He said “Ok, I guess that has milk in it. We don’t want him to get sick.” The wisdom of children. No problems with other kids making fun of him. Only 1 teacher who told me she “made” him eat the pizza
because there is no milk in it- only cheese………..

If you learn the Kosher labeling laws you will be popular on field trips from school! everyone who kept kosher was ALWAYS in My meal group.

It is a hard initial adjustment, but is second nature now. We travel to many countries, and find that we LOVE american labeling laws. But even in other countries, you can find “safe” food, you just do your homework before you
leave and pay very close attention.

It used to be at Mcdonalds- buns with seeds (big mac) had milk– buns with no seeds had no milk– easy to fix by ordering the unseeded bun.

We use LOTS of rice milk for cooking- it substitutes just fine in anything I have ever made for TASTE, but it will not thicken sauces or soups (think hollandaise). Even our friends and neighbors LOVE our eggs benedict and always
want the recipe–they are shocked to find it completely NON DAIRY!

Keep lots of the “safe” foods on hand-and you will never be without a meal for your child. On international trips we have a group of 4- we each order a different meal, and we have sometimes had to choose from ALL of our plates to
let my son eat a “meal”. You make friends this way–people near us hand over food they weren’t planning to eat anyway…

Lufhansa (spelling?) had the very BEST kosher meat meals I have EVER seen.

My son ate like a KING. In fact on our return trip we changed some of our orders to the kosher meat (be specific or you could wind up with nothing BUT dairy) meal. He always has crackers and his favorite standby cookies in his carry on. He wont starve to death before we get somewhere we can find him safe food.

Wisconsin was the HARDEST PLACE EVER TO find non-dairy food. Something about food with milk can’t be taxed, so EVERYTHING had milk- soda, gum, bread, crackers, cookies, same brands you buy here (AZ) with no dairy here had dairy there! Be on your toes, or a vacation can be ruined by trips to the ER. Poor kid!

It gets easier, I promise……


Beth · August 19, 2008 at 6:54 pm

Hi —

I get the list in digest form, so I’m merging replies to various topics from the day’s messages …

If you’re allergic to milk protein, the lactose-free milk won’t help you at all.

There are many simple foods that are milk-free, and simple recipe-substitutions you can use to make your own. Once you get used to it, eating milk-free becomes easy and satisfying: you just have to take the time to get used to it.

Desserts my family likes include Trader Joe brownies (made with oil instead of melted butter), sorbet with various sauces, toffuti Cutie bars, and Oreos.

My web site lists some menus to get you started.

Kosher meat and parve foods are usually okay for people with milk-allergy, but if you’re at risk even by cross-contamination, you need to experiment carefully. My web site explains the hows and whys of kosher food labelling
with respect to milk allergy.

Restaurant and hospital foods can be dangerous for people with milk allergy (or any allergy, for that matter). And there are other pitfalls that may be of concern. Again, my web site lists a bunch of them. (Cosmetics, for example, and soaps may contain milk.)

I hope this helps,

Mark · August 19, 2008 at 11:24 pm

Rice Dream ice cream has safflower oil in it (as do most/all of the Rice Dream products) and I’m allergic to that (safflower is a ragweed cross-over, I believe). Being highly atopic is such a curse. Sigh.


Tom · August 19, 2008 at 11:25 pm

Rice Dream is usually available at Whole Foods and other natural foods stores. It is made by the same people that make Soy Dream, so you may be able to have them order it.

On the Soy issue, the newest formula has Soy Lecithin in it, so it just makes ingredient watching even more important. (I have reactions to Soy and Milk Protein)

Kathy · August 27, 2008 at 2:05 pm

My daughter had lots of tummy issues this year and in all of the testing, we were told that she was lactose intolerant.

First question is, who told you and on what basis? I am finding a lot of doctors are simply ascribing symptoms to lactose intolerance without doing any testing at all.

Are the symptoms “classic” LI symptoms? Please check further

Eric · August 27, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Symptoms appear but is it an allergy? Is it easy to spot which one? This is what I told a friend whose daughter has had tummy pains recently….

While there may be a lactose problem, it’s also as likely to be some other constituent in the ice cream. Flavourings, colourings, additives, cross-contamination with nuts or other allergens might all be suspected.

A careful diary of foods and their ingredients and her reactions to them over a few weeks is probably in order – from that, you might (or a doctor might) find a pattern that would help.

Good luck

R · August 27, 2008 at 2:07 pm

It could be brand related: there was a time I could not eat Domino’s Pizza as they gave me heartburn but frozen pizza did not.

R · August 27, 2008 at 2:08 pm

My husband is not lactose intolerant but is becoming sensitive to foods that are high in fat (but he is over 45) and ice cream is higher in fat than just plain milk.

Cheese also gives him issues but not plain milk (and cheese is high in fat but low in lactose (so I have been told)).

Shez · August 28, 2008 at 11:19 am

My daughter and I are allergic to soy as well as dairy (and gluten).

I make her “milk” by blending a cup of presoaked raw cashews with 4 cups water and a few medjool dates. This keeps on the fridge for up to a week. If she wants it creamier, I use less water.

I find that it is easier, and safer, to just make most of our food from whole, raw ingredients.

Ketan · September 18, 2008 at 1:25 pm

After Eight Mints are vegan

I find them useful as an alternative for ‘chocololate’ gifts


Vanessa · September 18, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Re Green and Blacks chocolates. Is it vegan?

Before jumping to conclusions, please refer to http://www.greenandblacks.com/us/information/frequently-asked-questions.html

You will find a whole bunch of questions and answers about the milk allergy labelling.

Maya Gold has not changed – the labelling has changed. Neither the contents nor the process followed has changed – it is the fear of being sued by an allergy sufferer over some infinitesimal amount that seems to have increased generally. As a result, loads of previously “vegan”
products are suddenly sporting a label saying “may contain milk”, whether or not milk is also included in the list of ingredients. G&B are simply playing very safe here.

None of the Green and Black dark chocolate, including Maya gold, has changed in the slightest, though seeing milk on the ingredients list is sufficiently off-putting for many of us to look elsewhere – but the difference will probably only be in the labelling policy. Even Plamil (a vegan company) states that it cannot guarantee any product to be
*entirely* free from allergens.

Hope this helps.


PS I think most people are aware that *all* chocolate is liable to contain a small percentage of insect residues due to the method of drying the cocoa beans. I believe there is also a maximum allowed level of rat droppings. Even less appealing than the “may contain milk” rubric, but it has not put vegans off chocolate – even those of us who have actually watched a film of what goes on in the cocoa bean vats!

Mahersh · September 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm

Green and Blacks chocolates

Note, I believe the G&B plain dark chocolate bars are still
suitable for vegans, as are the dark cooking chocolate bars, but it seems that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find vegan G&B bars since G&B was taken over by Cadbury’s).

Alpa Shah · September 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm

If you are allergic to eggs please read the following: –

Something to keep in mind when you go to an ‘Indian’ vegan place

Having visited a very good restaurant in Suburban Mumbai we ordered Jain Subzi along with combination of NAN & Roti. In a few seconds the managers of the restaurant who was known to me from many years approached me and requested me to cut NAN from our order as it was not sa JAIN food, i inquired to him that how was that possible as it’s only made of MAIDA.

What he clarified with his professional ethics was just shocking, here are the details :-


It is absolutely impossible for any one to make them without egg in a hotel. It will not be that soft and elastic through out the day and shall start to
crack in some time.

2] He also clarified that as been registered a Vegetarian Hotel he can’t bring in eggs so the get the Atta made in ready form from local bakeries who prepare it for them and supply to all restaurants.

3] He also said that even thought all restaurants owners shall deny this but it is a fact and that others do not say it so as to not loose business. In fact they turn a blind eye on what the bakery staff add to the atta mixture.

4] He also stated that he been experience for soo many years in as a restaurant manager in many hotels does not know any single outlet that could give you VEGETARIAN NAN, KULCHA or RUMALI ROTI.

5] He also stated that he now clarifies it to all his clients as he feels that it is against his ethic’s to not provide details to the customer.

6] Only Plain Roti is the only item that a normal Vegetarian or a Jain can consume in a hotel.

All this stated above is 100% true and I request you to pass it on to your vegetarian and/or Jain friends.

Beth · October 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm

For “cheese” go to roads end organics on the internet they make a product called mac n chreese.

My boys who are anaphylactic to milk love it so do the neighbourhood kids who aren’t milk allergic.

A few yrs back they started offering the “chreese” in bulk use the mozzarella and you can make it, then freeze it and shred for pizza its great…… we live on that stuff reasonably priced too.

Sherene · October 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm

For baking, we use Earth Balance, because it’s the best we’ve found at giving baked goods the right texture. According to my family and friends, baked goods made with Earth Balance taste and feel are indistinguishable from those made with butter.

If your family is allergic to soy as well as dairy, a good alternative for baking is Spectrum’s shortening. We get very good results from it. Sometimes I use coconut oil but not good for cookies though.

Eric · October 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Cautionary tale – just because a brand didn’t have milk products before doesn’t mean it doesn’t now. Companies change formulations periodically and without fanfare and the only way to be sure is to read the label – every time.

Jon · October 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Re: “Soy cheese without casein is hard to find at the best of times and it is prohibitively expensive. I just don’t bother.

I eat absolutely no dairy, with an allergy severe enough for a bit of pharmaceutical lactose in tablet medicine or a breath of Doritos air to induce anaphylaxis. But, I love pizza! How?

Second … just leave the cheese off. (What? Pizza without cheese? Yes!) Just put on lots of other toppings, whatever you like, and season well with appropriate herbs. I add toppings–peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms, pineapple, ham, you name it–until the tomato sauce is completely covered. Then sprinkle extra herbs on top–garlic, oregano, a bit of extra salt if you want, etc. Then bake just like any other pizza.

Anon · October 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm

I used to make pizza like that too…except I’d start with a layer of sauce on the crust, pile on toppings, then spoon more sauce over the toppings. If you can find them locally, Tofutti makes several cheese substitutes in slice form. Just tear them up and add to the toppings.

Even better, Tofutti makes both pizza bagels and a more traditional flat pizza, both parve (in the frozen section). I haven’t seen the pizza bagels recently, but on their flat pizza, I add pepperoni half way through the cooking time.

My kids, who don’t seem to have dairy issues, don’t appear to notice the difference between Tofutti pizza and real pizza.

Sherene · October 14, 2008 at 3:45 pm

On a different note: –

A good book to read would be the China study by campbell who does into depth why animal protein and casen as a whole isnt good for you.

I wouldnt worry what others think do what you know is best for your health as well as that of your children.

I second the recommendation for the China Study.

Another book that is well worth reading is “Disease Proof Your Child” by Joel Fuhrman MD (www.drfuhrman.com).

In this book he explains why a dairy free diet is best for children (and adults) and gives good recipes that you can make very easily.

Mark · October 14, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Getting the nutrition you need: –

You’ll need to replace the protein and the calcium and the vitamin D.

The protein’s easy (unless you’re vegetarian). The D and Calcium are harder. I take diary-free Calcium Citrate plus D (CVS store brand).

Sherene · October 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Mark, I disagree. I feed my family a vegan diet and other than vitamins D and B12, everything else is very easy to find in a vegetable only diet.

Leafy greens contain higher amounts of protein per CALORIE than animal protein. They also contain good amounts of calcium, as do broccoli and a variety of seeds and nuts.

It’s very easy to obtain sufficient protein and calcium from a dairy free, vegetarian diet.

I make my children a high protein, high fiber, pretty high calcium smoothie each morning and it only contains spinach or kale or collards, plus berries, flax seeds, and cashew nuts. This smoothie is a nutritional powerhouse and requires very little effort.

Sherene · October 14, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Alternative milk: –

For example, if you want to make a cup of “whole milk” use 16 almonds or raw cashews or macadamia nuts and 1 cup of water and blend until smooth. Strain and use as you would milk.

Sherene · October 14, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Alternative cream or yoghurt: –

If you see my recipe above but you use less water you have “cream”. Add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice, let sit and you have “sour cream” or “yoghurt” to use as replacements in recipes.

Sherene · October 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Alternative cheese: –

I make a cashew nut “cream cheese” that is very good. LMK if you want the recipe.

I use cashew nuts in preference to almonds because you don’t have to strain cashew nut milk. If you don’t have a high speed blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec, soak the nuts for at least 2 hours before hand, that allows you to get a creamier, smoother “milk”.

Lori · October 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Alternative to butter: –

Earths Balance or Soy Garden are available here at almost all grocery stores and taste almost like butter

Fleishman’s Unsalted Margarine is Dairy Free. It is a national brand, but my grocery store doesn’t always have it in stock.

Weavre · October 14, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Outgrowing allergies

Many kids may well outgrow dairy allergies … but please don’t count on it, and stay very alert if you ever reintroduce milk.

I was allergic to dairy from birth. When I was about 2-3 years old, my reactions to dairy changed, and my mother thought I’d outgrown the allergy.

She put milk back in my diet. I kept showing the changed symptoms, but they weren’t the same as my infant response to dairy, so no one thought they were had anything to do with milk.

Thus began more than two and a half decades of trying to identify the cause of all my “mysterious” health problems. Finally, after a doctor kept insisting we remove my (perfectly healthy) gall bladder, my partner wondered if dairy could be causing “some” of my problems, and we tried eliminating dairy products from my diet. Wow, what a difference! All my health problems disappeared–literally all of them! We were amazed. What was this?

We moved shortly after that to a different state and a different medical culture, and not long after the move, a RAST test (blood test) confirmed that my dairy allergy was still quite present.

The downside, though, was that after eliminating constant exposure to dairy and getting much healthier as a result, accidental dairy exposure caused *much* worse reactions … and the reactions got more severe as the years went by.

Today, the tiniest bit of cross-contamination in my food or medicine causes anaphylaxis–as does inhaling dairy-laden dust from other people’s snack foods (like Doritos,
etc.) or breathing air laced with hot cheese particles. I’ve had enough life-threatening reactions to have lost count.

We speculate that, if dairy had never been reintroduced to my diet when I was a young child, I might have retained the dairy allergy with its changed responses anyway … but it’s quite likely I’d never have developed the hypersensitive anaphylactic allergy I have now, too.

So, while I’m just a sample size of one, my experiences illustrate how easy it is to miss a continued allergy when a child’s responses to the trigger change. It’s possible for kids to outgrow a dairy allergy, but with any indication that the allergy exists, I’d opt to keep the child away from dairy for a very long time before reintroducing at all. Then I’d keep a comprehensive food and symptom journal for a long time both before and after reintroducing milk in the doctor’s office, and consult closely with a good allergist before deciding the allergy is gone. Even then, I’d stay alert for a possible “adult onset” return of the allergy at any time.

Just my two pennies … hope it helps!

Rachel · October 14, 2008 at 7:16 pm

I used to buy a certain brand of fish sticks and all of a sudden, they changed their formulation and added milk. I emailed to complain (and they were losing a customer) but all I got back was a form email essentially saying, well, we want it this way.

I have made it a habit to double check the ingredients of even my most trusted and popular brands. You just never know. Fortunately, here in Canada, most bread is milk free and as a result, I am getting lazy in checking bread! It was such a challenge in Michigan to find milk free bread.

If ever you are in Canada and need margarine, Fleischmann’s is also made here and is dairy free; and any store that carries PC (President’s Choice) brand should carry their PC Celeb margarine, where they have a lactose free one (good for baking) and a low cal one (not so good for baking), which are tasty and safe and when not on sale, still reasonably priced.

Jean · October 14, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Here’s a couple of things that I wish I had known years before I did… Casein is a protein found in ilk products. People who cannot digest it build up antibodies to it which appear in the blood.

I’m not a doctor, and this is not medical =20 advice, but I wish someone had done the blood test on me many years before they did because the reactions happen over time.

Antibody reactions are systemic, meaning they can cause problems in seemingly unrelated areas.

Jean · October 14, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Dairy/Gluten free cooking

Now, some suggestions on what I am an expert in (dairy and gluten free cooking)

To make a low-cost milk substitute, take 1 nut per ounce of water for “skim” milk and two nuts per ounce of water for “whole” milk.

For example, if you want to make a cup of “whole milk” use 16 almonds or raw cashews or macadamia nuts and 1 cup of water and blend until smooth.

Strain and use as you would milk. This works in baked =20 things, and on cereal. If you like it a little sweet, add a little maple syrup.

If you avoid nuts, use 4 tsps. of hemp seeds in 8 oz of water.

“Follow Your Heart” makes casein free / lactose free cheese, and they are good.

I hope this helps.

Beth · October 14, 2008 at 7:23 pm

As any really good allergist will tell you, the best way to determine if someone has a food allergy is to spend a week or two keeping a comprehensive food diary (food, ingredients, drinks, vitamins — anything ingested) while someone else spends that same time keeping a comprehensive health diary (colds, fevers, stomach aches, moodiness, etc.).

Then at the end of your designated time period track down the relationship between what was ingested and the subject’s health. This is an exercise well-worth doing, as you might find that milk is NOT the primary culprit, or that there is a second culprit in addition to milk.

As for living without milk … it takes some time to become accustomed to it, but once you’ve managed the transition it’s pretty straightforward.

My web site, Eating without Casein, provides LOTS of basic information that you’ll find helpful, including some meals to start out with, a list of banned ingredients, and how to deal with special situations such as hospitalizations and preparation for natural disasters.

In my family, the milk-allergic among us eat their cereal with apple juice poured over it, drink calcium-enriched juices, make their hot chocolate with rice milk, and enjoy various tofutti bars and sorbets for dessert.

We’ve all decided that the milk-free “cheeses” aren’t worth it. Without casein they don’t melt properly and they taste pretty nasty. Your family’s taste-buds may vary.

I do a great deal of cooking from scratch at home, but we also know what they can eat when we go out. (We really like going to restaurants, as they allow the non-allergic among us to indulge in cheese lasagna and quiche, treats we don’t do at home.)

The hardest part is convincing family members that milk really is poison.

It helps to demonstrate a before and after. Child miserable before the milk elimination becomes happy child after, with occasional miserable episodes when milk slips in by accident. It helped us a lot that, after a couple of years of almost no growth, our child gained several inches in height following the milk elimination. His personality also changed, becoming much calmer and more focused. (Nothing like the elimination of pain to permit

I hopes these thoughts help.

Heena Modi · October 15, 2008 at 7:42 pm

Growing out of allergies

Of course not all children grow out of allergies, but most do.

There are two protein families in milk, the casein family and the whey family. Casein allergies are more common than whey allergies but you can be allergic to either family or to both.

I’m not quite sure what milk broken down to whey might mean. The whey portion of milk is what is left over when the curds, which are mostly casein, are removed during cheesemaking. Commercial whey products are usually dried to take the water out for shipping, and consist of a powder that is partially whey protein and partially lactose. The casein content would be small, but probably non-zero. No one with a truly serious dairy allergy should be eating products with whey in them. Those with a hypersensitivity might well do so.

There are also two types of reactions to proteins. True allergies are mediated by the IgE antibody. Those are the reactions that can be anaphylactic and normally – but again not always – affect the skin and respiratory systems. Other reactions are mediated by other antibody systems. Those are often referred to as hypersensitivities to distinguish them. These arise later and affect different systems from IgE reactions. I have a longer explanation and a chart on my website at:

It’s important to know the differences between the types of protein and the types of reaction. They also react differently to testing, which is the source of much confusion. Removing dairy is a good step, but it is a crude test and doesn’t return as much information as you need in the long term.

Heena Modi · October 15, 2008 at 7:44 pm

I think you are misunderstanding my response. That’s what I was saying that not all people outgrow the allergy/allergies.

My twins are highly allergic and have been since birth they have both a skin, repository, and always a anaphylactic reaction.

In 13 yrs the symptoms have not gotten any better regardless of the “most children outgrow it” They have a protein allergy to both whey and casien. Lactose does not bother them.

However, doctors suggest that you refrain from any milk based product even if it “appears” you’ve outgrown it, or tolerate it, because other symptoms that you might not associate to milk might appear a lot of doctors now believe you never outgrow an allergy the bodies response
may change as you get older. My response saying just because someone “appears” to have outgrown an allergy that may not be the case. Their symptoms can change and minifest themselves differently throughout their life.

I was allergic as a child and if I ingest milk now I
only have a skin reaction excema.

The term “broken down” refers to the chemical breakdown of milk.

Casien is about 80% of the protein in milk, and whey (which is also a protein) is apprx 20% of the milk. Proteins CAN be broken down and you are correct that whey(liquid) is what remains when milk curdles.

Proteins can be broken down further into amino acids which for someone who is allergic may be able to tolerate (i.e.nutramigen hypo allergenic formula is a milk protein based formula)because the body is not seeing a protein it is seeing only the amino acid which is what a protein breaks down into during digestion.

Rachel · October 16, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Baby formulas

Baby formulas for sensitive babies, etc. are often with the milk proteins broken down, unless you choose a soy alternative.

I had always believed that my son had a milk protein allergy but duly avoided all milk, including lactose, just to be safe.

This summer he had a reaction to steak “seasoned” with lactose (no label available at the sample location and I should have known better), and the reaction was swift but only hives, thank god. So, at this point, my kid is allergic to all that comes from the cow’s udder, protein or sugar.

Steve · October 16, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Most children with true dairy allergies do outgrow them. Recent studies have shown that they last longer than once thought, however. Researchers used to think that most children outgrew them by age three, but now it’s known that it can be as late as age eight.

In the meantime, it’ll do no harm to for your son to avoid dairy.

I have an extensive listing of milk alternative products on my Product Clearinghouse website.

The Cheese page specifies which substitutes contain casein and which do not.

I have a huge listing of cookbooks that are aimed at people who want to go dairy-free. I don’t sell them myself, but just put up links to Amazon so you can purchase them.

You can also find general information posted daily on my Planet Lactose blog.

I just list milk alternative products. Alisa Fleming at GoDairyFree sells much more extensive listings of all foods which are dairy-free. They’re only $10, so they make a good investment.

She also has loads of recipes and other information available.

Beth · October 16, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Dairy free cheese: –

Tofutti makes a decent dairy free cheese (it will melt when making a grilled cheese if you first brown one side of the sandwich then when you flip it put a lid on the frying pan and the steam makes it melt.

Also there is a dairy free rice cheese taste is ok. My son likes it on burgers its made by galaxy foods they do have a rice cheese that contains dairy (casien) so be careful you get the one that say lactose and casien free.

Rachel · October 16, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Baking: –

When baking, I sub milk with soy/rice milk and butter with margarine or mostly with oil and no one ever notices the difference, I swear. Don’t use oil substitute if the recipe requires rolling (e.g. sugar cookies, pie crusts). The results, while edible, don’t turn out right and the rolling is a nightmare. I make cakes, brownies, cookies, biscuits, pancakes, scones and muffins successfully and everyone enjoys them.

Helen · November 27, 2008 at 5:08 pm


All of the chocolate (and carob) produced by Plamil is dairy free and they are proud of their factory which uses no animal ingredients and is also a nut-free zone.

Plamil tends to be stocked in health food shops, but you can probably find Green & Black’s in regular supermarkets, although maybe not the really small “Tesco Metro” type places.

Helen · November 27, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Cheese & preferences

I occasionally enjoy some Cheezly from time to time. This is a soya cheese sold at most H&B stores which have a fridge. Cheezly is from The Redwood Co: .

Helen · November 27, 2008 at 5:10 pm


I will eat Sainsbury’s “Taste the difference” pastrami and Asda pastrami but I have an idea that I won’t eat Tesco’s offering.

Most of them do small packs of roast beef which they manage not to pollute with dairy ingredients, but you need to watch out for chicken and turkey products and read the labels carefully as there are a few good ones and a great many not-so-good ones.

I couldn’t comment on ham as I avoid pig products as well as dairy products, but if you eat ham, you can probably find some that is acceptable to you.

Helen · November 27, 2008 at 5:12 pm


Most supermarkets offer an own-label dairy-free margarine and may in addition sell “Pure” brand, which comes in sunflower, oilseed rape (which you may know as canola) and organic, which is a mixture of sunflower and palm oil.

There’s also Tomor kosher margarine, but I avoid that and I can’t recall why. I don’t think it’s dairy kosher, so it’s probably got some other nasty like maltodextrin in it, but I can’t recall what. You might find it perfectly acceptable.

Helen · November 27, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Ice cream

Another product you might find in the supermarket freezer section with icecreams is Swedish Glace which is a pretty good non-dairy icecream – although whether you want a whole tub of it if you’re being a tourist is debatable! Some of the independent health food shops also sell Tofutti, but it’s more expensive. It’s in smaller tubs though, so could be do-able if you can share – or you have access to a freezer so that you can have seconds later.

Heena Modi · December 16, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Check this out re Cadburys and their egg absent & milk absent produce, for example.


Weavre · January 13, 2009 at 9:23 pm


My family wants to me to try a cookie recipe they love, which calls for yogurt. I know that some (most? all?) soy yogurts, such as O’Soy, contain some milk products; it’s apparently quite difficult to find yogurt cultures that weren’t originally grown in milk.

Since I simply don’t eat yogurt,I’ve never really investigated this before, and the product websites aren’t proving especially helpful. Silk’s site, for example, doesn’t seem to make clear whether they use cultures grown in milk or not. I don’t know a lot about yogurt, and don’t even know if it’s possible to culture the necessary bacteria in soy or not.

Does anyone know for certain if there are any soy yogurts on the American market that contain no milk derivatives? If so, which one(s)?

Thank you in advance,

Rachel · January 13, 2009 at 9:25 pm

When I was living in the US, there was at least three different varieties of soy yoghurt and my son, who is allergic to dairy, ate them all. Some tasted better than others and none gave him any problems. I am not aware of any of these actually having any milk in them and I think it would be a serious marketing problem (esp. for vegans or animal activists or for those severely allergic) if you offered a soy based yoghurt with cultures grown in milk.
If you google on-line, you will find several pages on how to make homemade soy yoghurt. It is much harder to find yoghurt cultures without milk in them; I looked once in a regular grocery store. But I am betting that you might be able to find it at a health food / natural food store or simply start with a batch of unsweetened unflavoured cultured soy yoghurt.

Koonal · January 20, 2009 at 9:24 pm

If you are allergic to fish and you drink you need to know that: –

isinglass finings (obtained from fish bladders) are used as a processing aid in the brewing industry to accelerate the clarification of beer – i.e. to make it less cloudy. This means that most real ales (hugely superior in taste to fizzy, chemical-infused lagers) are not vegetarian/vegan.

However, all beers produced by the Samuel Smith’s brewery (with the exception of Old Brewery Bitter) are 100% vegan. Samuel Smith’s operated pubs are inexpensive and charming, and are located throughout the UK, including several within central London. They can get very busy, but I would certainly recommend a visit as they have a very traditional feel to them, and they don’t sell spirits or soft-drinks produced by any of the large corporate manufacturers.

Details of Sam Smith’s pubs can be found here:

M · April 28, 2009 at 5:13 pm

When I finally knew how bad by son’s milk allergy was, I went to Burger King and McDonalds, IN PERSON.

Burger King did not give me information or access to their kitchens. Actually they were rude that I asked.

McDonald’s did give me access and information.

McDonalds, took me back into their kitchen and walked me through how everything was made. EVERTHING!!

The simple burgers are fine as long as the people on the line change their gloves.

I have tested this through several states.

Talk to the manager. Explain what you need. Safe junk food.

So much for special foods don’t upset us…………..

Talk to the McD manager, get them to change gloves to make YOUR order, then thank them.

This has worked for me in several states.

Rachel · April 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm

What I like about McDonald’s is that the fry area is the fry area and the burgers are over there and the nuggets are over there.

Meaning: each food seems to have its own station and only fries are cooked in the fry oil (from what I have seen).

Nuggets are not cooked in the oil that fries are.

To me, that reduces a lot of the risk and McD’s is top of our (now very infrequent) treat places to go.

As for pizzas, you could ask for a cheeseless pizza but still find cheese in the sauce or even milk in the dough.

A homemade dough recipe that I modified for my own use originally calls for milk. But I made the dough, found a pepperoni without dairy and made my son a cheeseless pizza (soy cheese is terribly expensive and often contains casein) and he was so, so, so happy! And the dough was fantasic.

PS: Avoid doughnuts. They contain milk too but if you have a deep fryer and know how to modify a recipe, you can make them at home. They were fatty & greasy but amazing.

Jyoti · June 18, 2009 at 1:06 am


Just a note for those who may not have noticed but Walkers Salt & vinegar crisps now contain milk products so are no longer suitable for vegans. This seems to be a recent change and the packet says “now contains milk.”


    Heena Modi · June 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Had no idea! Thanks Jyoti 🙂

Comments are closed.