News Bits and Bites: February 2009 Issue from


Cup of TeaBecause there are so many wonderful announcements to cover, we are introducing a monthly “News Bits and Bites” update on Each month, we will give viewers a quick snapshot of new products, deals, and other related foodie and health news. If you have news to share, contact us. If you want to keep current on the daily postings (including recipes, product reviews, and more) on, follow us via our RSS feed.  Now, grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee, take a five-minute break, and enjoy this month's quick update of news bits and bites:

Researchers Uncover Clues to Cause of Severe and Potentially Fatal Allergic Reactions 
This one was hard for me to paraphrase, so I will include a brief excerpt here, “If you've ever wondered why some allergic reactions progress quickly and may even become fatal, a new research report published in the February 2009 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology provides an important part of the answer. In the report, scientists from Queen's University of Belfast, University of Oxford and Trinity College Dublin show for the first time that eotaxin, a chemical that helps immune cells locate the site of infection, blocks basic "fighter" cells from transforming into "seeker" dendritic cells, resulting in a heightened allergic response.” The full story is fairly brief, and worth the read … so check it out here on e! Science News.

Organicville Foods Announces New Teriyakis Sauces and French Dressing
I must disclaim, Organicville is my all time favorite brand of salad dressings, and their ketchup and barbecue sauces are pretty awesome too.  However, as a lover of all food Asian, I am elated that they are releasing two new teriyaki sauces, Island and Sesame. My father will be very excited to try his all time favorite in a healthier format, French Dressing. The products will arrive at Whole Foods stores in March 2009, so keep an eye out. All of their products are vegan, gluten-free, and of course, organic.

VegNews Offers Up Tree Free Reading
For those who can’t bear to receive another ounce of paper in the mail, VegNews is now offering their magazine in an online format.  It is a bit pricey for a non-printed version (in my opinion), but it is beautifully formatted and will most certainly allow you to save some trees while still enjoying their wonderful recipes and stories. They have a sample edition available online as a “try before you buy” kind of feature.

Coconut Bliss at Last Reaches Nationwide Distribution
Coconut Bliss will be available nationwide in Whole Foods Markets by mid-March. In four years, the product has gone from being available in two states, to all fifty!  And just in case you were wondering how good it is, here is my review. If you are looking for a dairy-free ice cream to fill the incredibly rich and creamy void, then this might just be it.

Annie's Homegrown Turns 20, Celebrates with an Anniversary Sweepstakes
In honor of their 20th birthday, they are giving 20 Annie’s fans each a year's supply of great Annie’s comfort food and snacks (more than $1000 worth of food). This gift does include their macaroni and cheese, of which, we are still waiting for a dairy-free version! Nonetheless, they make tons of non-dairy, delicious foods. Enter to win now through April 30, 2009. Oh yes, and for every sweepstakes enry they will donate 20¢ to Sustainable Harvest International (up to $20,000).  Oops, one last thing; Annie’s also has two new cereal flavors, Fruity Bunnies and Cocoa Vanilla Bunnies.  Okay, go enter that sweepstakes now!

Who Wouldn’t Love Cookie Momsters Cookie Dough?
Seriously, what a cool name! Two teachers have created a gluten-free / casein-free cookie dough line, as one of them has an autistic child on a special diet. Their Cookie Momster sugar, chocolate chip, and double chocolate chip cookie doughs are in stores in Jacksonville, Florida (thus far), but they do ship out of state if you order direct.

How to Get Your Child on a Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet
Speaking of wonderful new things for autistic children venturing a special diet, Susan Lord has just released her new book, Getting Your Kid on a Gluten-free Casein-free Diet. She is a registered dietitian with an autistic child who is thriving on a GFCF diet. This is a practical guide that covers how to get your child on the diet, daily meal plans, recipes, and handy shopping lists.

Zoe Foods Opens New Online Store
Zoe Foods, makers of fabulously popular granola and snack bars (use caution, only two versions of the bars are made without milk ingredients), is partnering with to offer secure online shopping of their products. For free shipping on all orders, use the coupon code 02039 during checkout.

Everyday Dish Serves Up More Vegan Delights
Julie Hasson of Everyday Dish TV will be honoring us with her first vegan cookbook in 2010. Julie is a veteran dessert cookbook author, but this will be her first completely vegan publication (Congratulations Julie!). To tide you over until next year, Julie is keeping Everyday Dish TV updated with new vegan recipes and corresponding demos, including some upcoming ice creams with Wheeler of Wheeler’s Frozen Desserts.

Gwyneth Paltrow Hits the Healthy Food Scene as the Latest Celebrity Chef
Gwyneth Paltrow is coming out with a new cookbook entitled My Father’s Daughter, which will focus on the importance of being together for meals. Gwyneth has also launched her website called GOOP, and online guide to “nourishing the inner aspect.” I have subscribed to the GOOP newsletter, and thus far, just so-so. It is interesting, different, but the recipes are a bit "fancy." Keep in mind, Gwyneth is no longer pushing macrobiotics, in fact, her recipes now look more like celebrity chef recipes than diet-focused.

Starbucks Takes on the Tea Trend with Infused Teas
Starbucks continues on their product introductions with new Tea Infusions, a blend of their Tazo teas with real fruit juices from what I understand. I have read from reviewers that they are a bit sweet, so as a tea purist, I may not be sampling them myself.  They also offer tea lattes now, which I am sure you can order with soymilk for a dairy-free treat.

Nana’s New Cookie Bites and Expanded Distribution into Ralph’s Stores
Nana’s is joining the wave of natural food products entering the mainstream market; they have arrived in Ralph’s grocery stores!  In addition, they have released new Cookie Bite Packages … you know, those “guilt-free” mini-cookies.  The new bites are available in Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Cookie, Peanut Butter (labeled as safe from the recall!), No Gluten Ginger Spice, No Gluten Lemon Dreams, and No Gluten Fudge, and several of the flavors are currently on for buy one get one free in their online store.

Dicovering “Safe” Frozen Bagels
Over at Food Allergy Buzz, they discovered that Ray’s New York Bagels, sold in the freezer section of grocery stores in the east, are made in a facility that does not process milk, peanuts or tree nuts.  Bake 'mmm Bagels have a similar profile. Both brands are kosher.

KōV Foods Introduces New Coconut Milk-Based Frozen Dessert
Really, can we have too many soy-free, dairy-free, vegan non-dairy frozen desserts on the market? I think not.  KōV Foods uses just coconut milk, agave, and natural flavors to create their rich, kosher ice cream. Thus far, they have two flavors, Ginger Vanilla and Garden Mint Chocolate, but more are planned to arrive. At present, it is available at various Whole Foods Markets in Pennsylvania.

Nut Butter Meets Yoga for a Healthy Heart and Soul Giveaway
To get people back on the nut butter train, Maranatha is hosting a big giveaway: Two yoga getaway packages plus several runner up prizes that include things like yoga mats and nut butter samplers. Enter between now and 11:59 PM (EST) on March 31, 2009 (using their online entry form) for your chance to win.

London Times Names 50 Best Food Blogs
I must admit, I was a bit disappointed to see some of the best food blogs out there omitted, that happen to be dairy-free, such as Fat Free Vegan, Bittersweet, and Karina’s Kitchen, just to name a few … however, this is a fun foodie list to poke through, and most certainly includes several of my personal favorites.

Erin Baker’s Organic Brownie Bites Now Available from Whole Foods Market
Erin Baker Organic Brownie BitesErin Baker has long been known for her delicious Breakfast Cookies, but she just couldn’t resist dabbling in the brownie market too. Beginning this month, you can find Erin Baker’s Organic Brownie Bites on Whole Foods’ shelves in three (nutritious) flavors: Double Chocolate Chip, Classic Walnut, and Chocolate Chip Mint.

6th Annual Food Allergy Conference & Expo
The Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota  is hosting their 6th annual conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. It will be held on Saturday, April 4, 2009, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. It is open to the public, and children are welcome. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

Massachusetts Passes Food Allergy Legislation
Thanks to AllergicGirl for this news bite: “Food allergy advocate and Executive chef, Ming Tsai is featured in this week’s People Magazine. Why? Because he helped push legislation in Massachusetts that by 2011 will help facilitate food allergic diners’ continued safety.”

The Food Allergy Project and Food Allergy Initiative Unite to Find a Cure
The Food Allergy Project and the Food Allergy Initiative are joining forces, with the new organization all falling under the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI) name. According to their release, “This will now represent the largest private source of funding for food allergy research and will serve as a voice for millions of families to call on the federal government and private sources to collaborate in search of a cure. The combined entity has already contributed more than $60 million to basic scientific research and educational efforts.” See the full article to read more about this merger.


Do you have some milk-free related news to share? Just drop us an email.

We also welcome your unbiased product reviews, restaurant recommendations, and non-dairy recipes.


Special thanks to Avoiding Milk Protein, Food Allergy Buzz, AllergicGirl, Planet Lactose, and Navan Foods for helping to keep the free-from community up to date on news!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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