A new informational website, GoDairyFree.org, has emerged to address the growing demands of special diet consumers. Comprehensive guides, news, health information, recipes, product reviews, and more have packed this website full of usable content. “Our goal is to create a complete, one-stop resource for consumers interested in any aspect of dairy free cooking, shopping, dining, or dieting”, stated Alisa Fleming, founder of Go Dairy Free.
Fleming is a self-proclaimed user and creator of GoDairyFree.org. She transitioned to a dairy free diet several years ago for medical reasons, and found resources on the topic to be quite scattered, lacking in nutrition merit, and at times, expensive. Fleming professes, “I began researching and organizing the information for my own use, and then realized how many people could be helped if I published it for free access”.
How many people indeed. In 2003 Harris Interactive, a worldwide market research and consulting firm, conducted a national poll on vegetarianism. According to their survey, 6% of Americans never consume dairy products. This equates to well over 17 million dairy free consumers. Some may consider this number high, but many food manufacturers would agree that this estimate is right on the mark. Supply must keep up with demand, and the number of dairy free products on grocery shelves has skyrocketed into the new millennium. In fact, Go Dairy Free has uncovered over 2500 manufactured foods that are not only made without milk ingredients, they are also free from hydrogenated oils and other processed ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup.
So who are all of these dairy free people? Millions of lactose intolerant and milk allergic consumers have made the choice out of necessity. Many more select a vegan lifestyle for personal and social implications. Manufacturers have long recognized a consistent demand for Kosher Parve (dairy free) foods from the Jewish community.
But above and beyond these expansive groups, the fastest growing collection of dairy free dieters seems to be emerging from individuals seeking to prevent or treat chronic disease. A gluten free / casein free (milk protein) diet is a well-known option for those suffering with autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, or fibromyalgia. In addition, the infamous obesity epidemic is leading towards a massive experimentation with diets free from dairy or dairy fats in the pursuit of weight loss and overall health. GoDairyFree.org makes sure to address these crowds as well, with their 10-day challenge and a free printable diet journal.
Wary of too many advertisements and costly subscriptions, consumers like Fleming are returning to the Internet to create their own informational websites. Food manufacturers and consumers alike are quickly discovering the benefits of Go Dairy Free’s open meeting grounds. With unpaid product reviews, a newsletter, menu suggestions, and new product announcements onstage for the coming months, it seems the content supply of www.GoDairyFree.org will continue to follow the rapidly expanding demand.