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.
Finding the "Safest" Airline for Your Food Allergy Concerns
To help with your travel and flight plans, Allergic Living Magazine conducted an in-depth research study comparing the allergy policies of several major carriers. They go into detail on snack policies, gluten-free accomodations, pet and perfume policies, emergency protocols, flight staff training for allergies/asthma, etc. for 11 airlines. Online, you can view their nifty comparison chart with a summary of their findings.
2009 Gluten-free Cooking Expo Focuses on Dairy-Free (GFCF) Recipes
This year, the Gluten-Free Cooking Expo in Lisle, IL will focus on Gluten Free and Dairy Free recipes. The Expo is open to the public (with paid registration of course) and will include:
- Two full-days of gluten-free/dairy-free cooking demonstrations by notable chefs, cookbook authors and nutritionists
- Printed recipes so you can follow along, take notes and ask questions about successful replacement ingredients for common allergens such as soy, sugar, egg, dairy and corn
- Taste testing of the finished dishes
- Gourmet gluten-free, dairy-free lunch
- A take home a gift bag of great gluten-free products, literature and offers.
There will also be vendors on site, though not all will be dairy-free. You can learn more about this event, which is being held on Saturday and Sunday, August 15-16, 2009 at the Wyndham Hotel in Lisle, IL, on the Gluten-Free Expo Website.
Manitoba Harvest Announces World's First 100% Water Soluble Hemp Protein Concentrate
Hemp protein has gained in popularity as a healthy alternative to whey and soy protein concentrates, however, its inability to dissolve in water has made it a less than convenient option. To side-step some of the grit, you have to pull out the blender and concoct a smoothie … trust me I know. Not to mention, hemp hasn’t been the most efficient way of getting protein; you need quite a bit to reach supplement levels. But now, Manitoba Harvest has produced HEMP PRO 70, the world’s first Water Soluble 70% Protein Concentrate. This stuff can simply be added to water, give it a shake, and you are out the door! I will be taste-testing it soon, but for now you can get more information on this Omega-rich (800mg of Omega-3’s per serving), high protein (21g per 30g serving) on the Manitoba Harvest website. Better yet, you can sample it with their special offer this month: Place an order for $100 or more and receive 1 – 16 oz (454g) jar of Hemp Pro 70 FREE ($29.99 value) – offer good for the month of June 2009, use he coupon code NLJune09 at checkout.
Join the 2nd Food Allergy Twitter Party
The 1st food allergy twitter party was such a huge success that Ruth at Best Allergy Sites and Jennifer at Food Allergy Buzz have already scheduled the second one for July 23rd, 2009. School may just be letting out, but these ladies are planning ahead. The mid-summer twitter party theme will center on “Back to School with Food Allergies.”
Neocate Announces New Weaning Product Made from 100% Non-Allergenic Amino Acids
The Nutricia line of amino acid-based Neocate products has become quite famous over the years for its success in infants with milk protein allergies. But their product family has just welcomed a new member. Neocate has filled in the gap between their infant formula and their Neocate 1+ food with an amino acid-based food that is suitable for infants who are 6 months or older. According to the Neocate website, Neocate Nutra is "the first and only hypoallergenic, amino acid-based semi-solid medical food containing essential vitamins and minerals to promote balanced nutrition in children and infants over 6 months of age with cow’s milk allergy, multiple medical food protein intolerance or gastrointestinal conditions." National launches of Neocate Nutra will be taking place across the world during the course of 2009 and 2010.
Introducing Gluten-Free / Casein-Free Black & White Cookies
Shabtai Gourmet is well known for their extraordinary baked gluten-free goodies. They run a kosher parve / dairy-free bakery churning out dessert indulgences of all sorts … and their latest creation is a tasty 12-ounce box of Mini Black & White Cookies. According to their website the cookies are … "Double dipped for double the flavor! Our famous Black & Whites are a classic New York treat. Enjoy a few, but dont devour the entire box at once – remember they are gluten free, not guilt free!" To satisfy your GFCF cravings, visit Shabtai Gourmet's website.
Support the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale by Eating Dessert!
On June 20 through June 28 (two weekends and the weekdays in between), groups from across the world will hold vegan bake sales as a part of the 1st annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. This tremendous collaborative effort is being sponsored by Compassion for Animals (CfA), a Washington, DC-area grassroots group that “works to reduce human-caused harm to animals, primarily through educating people on animal-friendly lifestyles and cultivating empathy and respect for the nonhumans with whom we share the earth.” Anyone interested in hosting a vegan bake sale is still welcome to. If you don’t have the resources to put on your own bake sale, then visit one in your area in June and support the cause by eating dessert! For more details on the locations (literally worldwide – Australia, UK, U.S., Nigeria!), dates, times, and how to register your own bake sale see the Vegan Bake Sale website.
Almond Breeze Chills Out
Everyone who loves almond milk raise your hands! (ooh, ooh, me, me!) Everyone who loves their almond milk chilled … check the refrigerated section at your local grocer. Yes, it has finally arrived. Step aside soy, move out of the way rice, Almond Breeze® is moving in with a new 64-ounce refrigerated, easy to pour package. The cool version is being offered in Original, Chocolate, and Vanilla flavors. I expect that I will still maintain my loyalty to the aseptic for now, since I prefer the unsweetened versions, and I like to stockpile the stuff … plus, it is only available in Atlanta and Florida markets right now … but I am sure distribution expansion is in the works.
Worry Free Dinners Hosts First Adult NYC Event
Created by Allergic Girl, Worry-Free Dinners is a membership group in New York City for anyone who has manageable food allergies and/or food intolerances and would like to explore restaurants, chefs and foodservice organizations that will offer an exclusive allergy-friendly meal. Though they have had many successfull and delicious events going on for the past year (plus!), their first Adult dinner will be held at the Mexican restarant, Dos Caminos Soho. The menu will be: gluten free, peanut free, tree-nut free, fish/shellfish free (Accomodations for other allergens may be possible, but please note this menu is corn heavy). This will be served family style as in everyone gets a little bit of everything, with seconds and thirds etc. As always beverages are on you. To join Worry-Free Dinners and sign up for this event, visit the Worry-Free Dinners website.
Foods Alive Announces the First Hemp Oil Salad Dressing
I received this tidbit straight from head guy Matt at Foods Alive, "Meg’s Sweet & Sassy Hemp Oil Dressing is certified Organic, Kosher, Vegan, Gluten Free, and 100% Raw! My younger sister Megan came up with this recipe using our cold-pressed flax oil and it was delicious, so we tried it with Hemp oil and it was even better! Perfect for salads, rice dishes, coleslaws, potatoes, sandwiches and wraps, and so much more, you will not find a healthier salad dressing! … What’s in it? 100% organic ingredients: Cold-pressed hemp oil, raw agave nectar, raw apple cider vinegar, celery seed, and celtic sea salt, and of course the most important ingredient, LOVE!" There is also a flax oil version available, and if exclamation points count toward quality, then this should be one really awesome product. See www.foodsalive.com for more info and to order (free samples are available!).
Pamela's Announces their 2009 Gluten-Free Recipe Contest
Do you have a wonderful recipe that grandma used to make? Pancakes that Dad whipped up on Sunday mornings? Perhaps your Mom adds something special to her cake or cookies. Whether it was a special occasion or just an everyday treat, we want to hear how you took your special food and adapted it to be gluten-free! If you have one of these personal treasures write up the story and send it along with the recipe, and you could win a $200 gift certificate to a kitchen supply store! To enter, recreate your historic family recipe using any of the Pamela's Products brand products. Then send it with the story that goes with it. This could be an amazing story of childhood memories, or simply how you loved something and made it gluten-free. For the entry form and details, see the Pamela's Contest Page.
Sweet Alexis Offers Special Discount on Allergen-Friendly Starter Pack of Baked Goodies
If you love sampler packs raise your hand (two arms just went up here, whoops, I can't type that way)! Sweet Alexis has introduced a new "Starter Pack" that includes 1 Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Pack (6 cookies); 1 Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookie Pack (6 cookies); 1 Applesauce Raisin Muffin; 1 Blueberry Muffin; 1 Super-Moist Banana Bread; 1 Classic Zucchini Bread; 1 Pumpkin Raisin Bread; and 1 Decadent Chocolate Cake. And, to celebrate the release of this new offering, it is on sale for just $29.99 (regular price $46.50). You an purchase directly from this dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and peanut-free company via their online store.
Tempeh Gets Tastier with New Marinated Flavors
Turtle Island Foods has released new, easy to prepare, marinated tempeh strips in three flavors: Sesame Garlic, Lemon Pepper and Coconut Curry. Since these strips are ready to throw into a pan right out of the package, they have taken the preparation of tempeh from over an hour (for homemade marinated tempeh) down to two minutes. The new tempeh strips were named “Best of Show" at the 2009 Natural Products ExpoWest by VegNews Magazine, and Sherbrook Capital also honored them with a “Best New Product” award.
Our marinated tempeh strips have already won awards, which says a lot about how delicious they are! I am guessing that you can find these in natural food stores in the fridge section, but for more info, see the Turtle Island Foods website.
Eating for Autism Resource Now Available
Elizabeth Strickland, MS, RD, LD has released her new book, Eating for Autism, which is now available in stores and online. This comprehensive work provides a practical 10-step nutrition plan starting with basic nutrition interventions and gradually moving to more advanced levels of nutrition therapy. It includes safe and effective solutions to resolve nutrient deficiencies, treat food allergies, heal the gastrointestinal tract, and strategies for feeding problems. It also covers how to select a vitamin and mineral supplement, the importance of omega-3 fatty acids, how to implement the GFCF Diet, child friendly GFCF recipes, Nutrition Goals & Objectives to include in your child’s IEP, and much more. It is available on Amazon or you can read more on Elizabeth's website.
Finding Nutrition in Our Daily Bread
Oops, we are a month (or so) behind on this bit of news, but as long as the products are on the shelves, it isn't too late! French Meadow Bakery has a new loaf called Our Daily Bread, which is vegan, yeast-free, and made without added oils or sweeteners. The bread contains CoroWise, "a plant sterol clinically proven to lower LDL cholesterol when incorporated into the daily diet." Riding the omega-3 trend (are we still on that one?), Our Daily Bread is topped chia seeds, and it is made with organic sprouted grains, flours and sprouted legumes. Also, since it doesn't contain added sugars, it is certified low glycemic for diabetics, with just 80 calories per slice. So far so good … if you venture it, email us on how it tastes!
Raw Vegan Chef Hosts Multi-Course Meal at Popular Manchester Restaurant
Cara Theos, a raw vegan and chef, will be hosting a special multi-course raw meal at Z restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire on July 13, 2009. Theos is a self-taught chef who will be working with the restaurant to prepare an entire evening of raw dining. Tickets are $50, and can be purchased by contacting Tom at the restaurant (603-629-9383). All proceeds will be donated to the New Hampshire Food Bank.
Canadian Company Expands Allergen-Free Chocolate Line
Guardian Angel Foods has added new chocolate shapes to their collection of products. The chocolates are all dairy-, peanut-, tree nut- and egg-free and they come in fun kid-friendly shapes like dolphins, turtles, dinosaurs, ladybugs, bears, and turtles. Right now, the company is just expanding their reach in Canada, where their products can also be ordered online. I was a bit bummed they aren't yet available to U.S. residents, but Canada certainly deserves some of their own treats!
Ani Phyo Releases First Line of Raw "Ready-Mixes"
When I think of mixes I think of baked goods or processed foods, but raw food guru Ani doesn't feel that purists should be left out when it comes to convenience. She has teamed up with Essential Living Foods to offer the first ever raw, superfood Ready-Mixes. They are naturally wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and organic, and currently come in two varieties, Ani’s Gourmet Ready Mix Superfood Chocolate Kit and Ani’s Raspberry Ganache Raw Chocolate Cake Mix.
New Magazine Released to the Delight of Gluten-Free Foodies
I just love the increasing focus on special diets! A new magazine called Delight Gluten-Free has hit the shelves. According to the publisher, "In our issues you will find gourmet, scrumptious, easy SemiHomemade, GF on a budget, Healthy and Fresh, fully illustrated recipes that will suite [sic]the gluten-free, casein-free dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, soy-free and rice-free diets."
Lundberg Farms Announces New Gluten-Free Couscous Made from Roasted Brown Rice
Did you ever wonder who in the world eats (and enjoys) those plain rice cakes … the ones with no salt, sugar, or "good stuff" added? Well, that would be me, but only Lundberg's rice cakes. You might think a rice cake is a rice cake, but Lundberg Family Farms just knows rice and how to prepare it to perfection. That said, I am excited to hear that they are at last releasing some new products. They have just introduced a line of Roasted Brown Rice Couscous that is made with 100% organic brown rice and is free of both wheat and gluten. The rice is crushed into granules that are similar to and quick-cooking like semolina couscous, but without the gluten and in four tasty flavors – Plain Original, Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil, Mediterranean Curry, and Savory Herb. It should be on the shelves soon, so check it out, I am sure it will be tasty!
Streaming Webcasts and Audio Files Available Online from Defeat Autism Now! Conference
Just a quick announcement here. The Autism Research Institute has released a whole series of streaming webcasts and audio files from the Defeat Autism Now! Conference that was held in April 2009 in Atlanta. The videos are quick and easy to download and cover 21 general lecture topics, 13 science sessions, and 7 workshops. See the DAN! webpage to view and download those you wish to take a peak at.
Soy, Are You Getting the Organic Quality You Bargained For?
Cookbook author Cathe Olson, reported on some interesting findings from the Organic Consumers Association and the Cornucopia Institute. According to her report, "… many organic soy brands when bought up by bigger corporations are switching from soybeans grown by American farmers to cheaper beans from China. Not only does this discourage our US farmers from growing their soy organically, but when the USDA sent auditors to inspect Chinese sites, they found multiple noncompliances and found that certifying agents did not always even have a translated copy of the US organic certification standards. Even worse, some companies that have been known to be organic are now switching to nonorganic beans. Why is this a problem? Well besides the fact that soy is often genetically engineered and grown with toxic herbicides, it is also usually processed with the chemical solvent 'hexane' which is a neurotoxic chemical. Despite the fact that hexane residue can end up in the soy product, according to the OCA the government does not require testing before selling food to consumers — even for soy-based infant formula." It seems Silk brand has switched to mostly conventional soybeans, but companies such as Eden Foods, Small Planet Tofu, and Vermont Soy are still working directly with North American organic farmers.
From the Makers of Whole Fruit Sorbet Comes Whole Fruit Bars
From their website, "J&J Snack Foods introduces NEW Whole Fruit® Fruit Bars available in five delicious varieties – Lime, Strawberry, Mango, Coconut, and Sugar Free Strawberry & Lime Variety Pack. Whole Fruit® Fruit Bars are super premium fruit bars that allow customers to indulge in the flavor without indulging in the calories. All natural, fat free, low calorie and made with real fruit." This is a mainstream brand, so you should be able to find both the sorbets and these new fruit bars at mega grocers for a cool, dairy-free, gluten-free treat. Word of caution though, the coconut flavor is alas not dairy-free.
Kiwi Kids Subject of New Milk Allergy Study
A press release from Foodweek Online announced, "A new pilot study will be launched to investigate just how many Kiwi children could be suffering from cow’s milk protein allergy. The research programme, to be called “The burden of food allergy” will be led by Auckland University Professor Rohan Ameratunga. [Ameratunga] said he consulted with at least six new sufferers each week and international studies had shown that among infants with cow’s milk allergy, 92% had two or more symptoms." The study will not only look at the numbers, but will also examine the common symptoms and severity. While many people think only peanut allergies elicit severe or life-threatening reactions, Professor Ameratunga pointed out that at least 10% of the cow's milk allergy patients he sees suffer from anaphylaxis. Additional information can be found on Allergy New Zealand’s website www.allergy.org.nz or www.actagainstallergy.co.nz
And last but not least, in mid-May, Food Allergy Awareness Week brought a series of positive news:
ELL Launches the Protect Allergic Children (PAC) Program
ELL does a fantastic job in investigating allergic reactions to food products, and warning consumers. Last month, they also sent a press realease about a new program they are doing, "Certified consultants will be trained to provide education and support services to schools, daycare facilities, camps and families to better protect food allergic children. August 9th, 2009 will mark the launch of the regional training sessions in which registered and pre-qualified ELL consultant candidates will gather for an in-person training session on the ELL training content entitled Protect Allergic Children (PAC) Program. Chicago will be the designated location for this event. While Chicago will be the location of the launch the first group of certified resources, ELL will also follow with trainings in other areas in October, 2009, February and April, 2010. Those interested in participating in the PAC Program can register for information and/or consideration as an ELL Consultant at ellfoundation.org/join-our-consultant-network.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Announces New Food Allergy Initiative Advocacy Steering Committee
As a member of the Board of Directors of the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI; www.faiusa.org), Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. announced the formation of FAI's Advocacy Steering Committee. "The committee's objectives are to help build a strong nationwide presence for the food allergy community in the public policy arena; and to actively seek to increase federal funding of food allergy research, as scientists believe that with proper funding, a cure can be found in less than a decade. The new steering committee comprises 16 leading parent advocates nationwide who confront the daily dangers of raising children with severe food allergies."
School Nutrition Association Seeks to Solve the Food Allergy Puzzle
The School Nutrition Association’s premier event is the Annual National Conference, being held June 29-July 2, 2009 in Las Vegas. Among there many programs, there will be an education session on Food Allergies, presented on Sunday, June 28 called "Solving the Food Allergy Puzzle." The session is summed up as follows: "Food allergies are a difficult topic to address in school nutrition operations. From legal obligations to financial challenges, they present complex obstacles. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USDA have been working with a broad range of stakeholders to address school district needs for clear information, guidance and resources. An expert panel representing a range of facets on this topic will bring the pieces of the puzzle together and spark dynamic discussion. This fast-paced, interactive seminar will cover food allergies from “soup to nuts,”….or, rather, wheat to nuts. Attendees will be able to discuss challenges and solutions to creating effective food allergy plans at the district level." See the event website for registration information.
Special thanks to Avoiding Milk Protein, Food Allergy Buzz, AllergicGirl, Planet Lactose, No Whey Mama, AllergySense, and Navan Foods for helping to keep the free-from and special diet communities up to date on news!