Our monthly "Bits and Bites" from the dairy-free world also include news of interest to the food allergic, vegans, GFCF dieters, and all around health-oriented people. If you have any relevant news or announcements to share for our round-up, simply contact us. Now, our (19) April news shorts in no special order …
Researchers Weigh In: Hidden Food Allergies Could Be Making You Fat
As reported by Medical News Today: "Medical researchers from Dubai reported in the April '09 edition of the Middle East Journal of Family Medicine (The Effect of The ALCAT Test Diet Therapy for Food Sensitivity in Patient's With Obesity) that patients unable to achieve goal weight loss by calorie restriction alone were significantly aided in their attempts when they avoided foods that had been shown by a unique lab test to excite their immune response …
The authors, led by Dr. M. Akmal of the Dubai Specialized Medical Centre, pointed out that hidden food allergies, or food sensitivities, are unique to each individual and can cause inflammatory diseases, and an inability to lose weight. Food sensitivities often provoke delayed and chronic symptoms, like IBS, migraine and arthritis, that are not as obvious as the dramatic and immediate onset of "true" food allergies, such as peanut anaphylaxis, but, over the long term, can be just as devastating and are more difficult to detect."
The 12 week study followed 27 weight loss patients who used just one treatment in their weight loss attempts, avoidance of foods that were identified as immune reactive for them via ALCAT blood testing. The participants lost an average of 37 pounds, had an average BMI drop of 6 pionts, and exhibited a solid decline in percent of body fat. See Medical News Today for the full article.
Pamela's Products Releases a New Gluten-Free Cornbread & Muffin Mix
We received this announcement direct from Pamela's, "This delectable mix is made from organic corn and comes with many tempting recipes on the bag. Try everything from Pamela's Sweet Old Fashioned Cornbread to Pamela's Buttermilk Cornbread [using your own buttermilk alternative], and Pamela's Sweet Pepper Cornbread, but Pamela couldn't stop there… oh no, she's also included her own Pamela's Southern Cornbread Dressing, Cranberry Orange Corn Muffins and, truly over the top, the tantalizing Pamela's Savory Tart Crust!" This mix is labeled as Wheat-free, Gluten-free, Non-Dairy & Sugar-free, is made with all natural, non-GMO ingredients, and is kosher certified. It should begin appearing on store shelves soon, but in the mean time, it is available on Amazon.
Black Male Children Have Higher Probability of Food Allergies
A study for presentation at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology's annual meeting in Washington DC, reported that as a group, black male children are more likely to have food allergies. As written by the Health Day News: "The national survey included 8,203 people, from infants to seniors who tested positive for the allergen antibody linked to possible issues with eggs, milk, peanuts and shrimp. Based on their analysis, the researchers estimated that 2.55 percent of the general population has food allergies, most often to shrimp and peanuts. But they found that the odds were much greater among blacks, males and children — especially young black boys. Males and children had nearly twice the risk for food allergy as others, blacks had triple the risk, and black children were four times more likely to have food allergies.
New Vegan Weight Loss Site to Be Launched by Popular Online Magazine
VegFamily, an informational website for vegan parenting, pregnancy, lifestyle, and natural family living, has announced the coming launch of the first online weight loss club devoted specifically to vegans and vegetarians. According to the press release, "the new site will offer a customizable meal plan feature to accommodate not only a vegan diet but also raw, gluten-free and soy-free diets. It will also provide tools for support and motivation such as journals, weight, calorie, and nutrient calculators, exercise fitness programs, a digital library of health, weight management, and lifestyle information and reports, and a team of nutrition and wellness experts for guidance and advice. Personal health profiles for club members will be provided by the expert team to help members focus on their needs and challenges and map a program for successful weight management and lifestyle improvement." The official launch should be announced on VegFamily.com very soon.
Could There be Milk In Your Inhaler?
This may not be new news, but it was a new discovery for us, and one that I thought important to share. Karen over at Avoiding Milk Protein reports, "I am getting over a chest infection, and was prescribed an inhaler. Reading through all the information I found that the inhaler has lactose it it, and that it may contain milk protein. A few years ago my allergic child was prescribed an inhaler for the first and only time. I asked the doctor if it was milk free, he said yes. I asked the pharmacist he looked it up in his active and inactive ingredient binder he said it was milk free. I insisted he also call the company because I read things on line about inhalers having milk in them, good thing I did, because they said the inhaler had milk in it. I went through the channels and got another inhaler that was milk free."
Allergaroo® Launches Ready-Made Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Microwavable Meals
Under the name Allergaroo, Allergy Friendly Foods, LLC has launched three of the new all-natural, ready-made dishes, including Spaghetti, Chili Mac and Spyglass Noodles, which can now be found in more than 1,000 select grocery stores throughout the U.S. in addition to natural foods stores and specialty online retailers (such as Gluten-free.com, GlutenFreeMall.com, Food4Celiacs.com and PeanutFreePlanet.com).
All Allergaroo dishes are free of the eight most common allergens, are gluten-free and are made without casein [okay wait, isn't that one of the top 8 allergens?], potato, sesame and sulfites. And, most importantly, all Allergaroo dishes are now made on dedicated equipment in an allergen-free dedicated space. See their website for more details: www.allergaroo.com.
Join the World’s Second Annual Multi-City Vegan Waffle Party on May 23rd
Last year the first annual vegan waffle party was announced by Idealist Coach Dave Wheitner, and it was a huge success. Through his website www.waffleparty.com, Dave hopes to spread the word about compassionate and sustainable eating in a fun way, through vegan waffle parties. He is hosting Waffle Party 11 in Pittsburgh, and welcomes hosts in other cities around the world to throw parties on or near this date. A party constitutes 2 or more people, so there is no minimum. Bloggers may find this event particularly fun, and a good way to test out or create a (dairy-free, egg-free) waffle recipe they have been thinking out. To join in the fun or learn more, visit www.waffleparty.com.
Enjoy Life Earns the New and Improved Seal on Their Gluten-Free Granolas
If you are craving a crisper crunch from your gluten-free grains, it may be time to give Enjoy Life Granolas another taste. Their new and improved versions are reportedly crispier than before with smaller granola clusters. According to their website, Enjoy Life's new granolas look and taste more like the “real” thing (I believe they are referring to wheat and oat-based granolas). They are also vitamin fortified and contain 23 grams or more of whole grain per serving. Of course, you can still enjoy their traditional flavors: Cinnamon Crunch, Cranapple Crunch, and Very Berry Crunch.
Kashi Offers New Cereal for Vanilla Lovers
"Island Vanilla begins with finely-shredded wheat pieces that are woven together to create light, tasty whole grain biscuits. These pieces are then naturally sweetened using evaporated cane juice crystals that are infused with organic vanilla extract. Within the rugged wheat layers are finely ground vanilla beans that gently drift loose while floating in milk." Are you drooling yet, because I am. Seriously, how did they manage to make a plain old breakfast cereal sound so exotic? The press release for this one just came out, but this new cereal should be in stores now. Of note, they also have some new frozen entrees that are actually dairy-free too! Such as the Mayan Harvest Bake and the Tuscan Veggie Bake.
The Bristol Vegan Fayre to be held May 30th and 31st for 2009
Now in it’s 7th year, the Bristol Vegan Fayre continues to be the biggest vegan gathering anywhere in the world, with record crowds expected for this year’s event after the near sell out 2008 show which saw over 11,000 visitors over the 2 days. The BVF 09 is once again an eclectic mix of all things vegan, with 120 stalls and up to 20 caterers including vegan food from all over the globe, plus 40 talks and cookery demos over the weekend, and an amazing line up of entertainment for the whole family. The show starts at 11am both days and runs to 10.30 pm on Saturday and 8.30 pm Sunday. Tickets each day are £8 in advance, £10 on the gate before 4pm and £12 after. Kids under 12 come in for £4 each day, and babies under 12 months come in for free. for advance tickets go to www.yaoh.co.uk/catalog or visit the event website is www.bristol.veganfayre.co.uk
EPA Funds Study to Identify Food Allergy Triggers
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $466,125 research grant to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine to investigate the mechanisms that make food allergies occur and to hopefully identify what triggers the switch. George Pavlou, Acting EPA Regional Administrator, said, “An important component of EPA’s biotechnology research is to improve our understanding of the health effects from genetically engineering proteins. This study will bring us closer to identifying environmental or dietary triggers that lead to food allergy.” Yes, it sounds as if someone is finally researching the possibility of a link between GMO's and food allergies!
New iPhone application May Help Travelers with Food Allergies "Eat Safe"
Traveling to and dining in foreign countries where you don't speak the language can be quite tricky when you live with food allergies. In response to this problem, iPhone has released Eat Safe, a new application ($3.99) that allows your iPhone to dislplay a clear illustration of 18 different products (fish, dairy, nuts, etc.) that the patron can't eat. Incredibly simplistic, but not a bad idea.
"Eating Vegan in New York City" Now Available as a Free eBook
Nicole at the blog Another One Bites the Crust has created an eBook with photos and descriptions of her favorite dining spots in New York City. The download is available for free via her blog, but she welcomes donations to the animal sanctuary fund for her book.
Lagusta's Luscious Launches New Chocolate Line
If you have ever read my reviews of Lagusta's truffles (all vegan, all the time), then you know this news is not to be taken lightly. "The Lagusta's Luscious team has been working for over a year on our new chocolate line, and it is finally ready! Introducing: Bluestocking Bonbons! Our gorgeous new boxes are printed with 100% recycled paper and vegetable-based inks. They feature a beautiful drawing of a chocolate plant commissioned by Lagusta's Luscious and the great graphic design work of our neighbors at Treeo Design—you won't be able to throw yours away, I promise." The new chocolates come in the following varieties: vandana shivas, pauline benjamin's peanut butter cups, raspberries de pizan, chocolate coconut cream pyramids, and furious vulvas. Visit the new Bluestocking BonBons Website to find a description of each of these new chocolates and to read the story behind the name, Bluestocking BonBons.
Availability of Dairy-Free and Vegan Restaurant / Take-Out Pizza on the Rise
It wasn't long ago (seriously, just last year) that I found myself writing in amazement about a pizzeria offering dairy-free cheese as an option. But it seems this trend is really catching on. Pizza Fusion, an organic pizzeria that offers vegan/dairy-free and gluten-free pizzas, has opened yet another location, bringing their franchise reach up to twelve states. The new location is in Naperville, IL. But beyond this chain, the number of dairy-free-friendly pizzerias is seriously climbing. This week alone, I added five pizzerias to our Dining Out section. Check out the Suggested Restaurants section here on Go Dairy Free for more details. Also, don't forget to email us if you have a suggested restaurant to add to this list. We except worldwide submissions.
Worry-Free Dinners Hosts Florida Event for Food Allergic Diners in May
Join AllergicGirl for a special Worry-Free Dinners® Florida event sponsored by The Allergy Free Shop. Worry-Free Dinners® were created to provide a safe and fun dining out experience for those with severe food allergies. The Florida event will be a lunch time affair on Sunday May 31st at Seasons 52 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Sign up early as the Worry-Free Dinners® do tend to sell out quickly. See the Worry-Free Dinners® blog for more information.
Win a Cooler Filled with New So Delicious® Coconut Milk Beverage
Just fill out this form on Turtle Mountain's website, and be entered to win six half gallons of your choice of flavors (the new coconut milk beverage comes in Original, Vanilla, and Unsweetened). Five lucky winners will be drawn on May 15, 2009.
Cherrybrook Kitchen Churns Out New Kid-Friendly and Gluten-Free Delights
In response to a growing demand for allergy-friendly foods that are also gluten-free, Cherrybrook has created a Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix and a Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix. This is just a pre-release announcement to get you all excited though. The mixes won't be in stores until the end of the summer, but you should be able to buy them in Cherrybrook's online store sooner. The good news is, the new Arthur Chocolate Chip Cookie mix is now available via their online store … and through the end of April 2009 you can get $1.00 your Arthur Cookie Mix purchase by putting ARTHUR in the promo box at checkout.
Allergy Grocer Closes It's Virtual Doors
Sad but true. What I think of as the original online store for food allergies has shut down. Luckily, the owner hopes to reopen soon. In the meantime, please look to Navan Foods and the Allergy-Free Shop for an excellent selection of food allergy friendly goodies. I know the Allergy Grocer would want continued support for these great small businesses!
Special thanks to Avoiding Milk Protein, Food Allergy Buzz, AllergicGirl, Planet Lactose, No Whey Mama, and Navan Foods for helping to keep the free-from and special diet communities up to date on news!