COWS MILK and other dairy products cause many health problems for both children and adults. Pesticide
and antibiotic residues make dairy dangerous for everyone. Colic, ear infections, allergies, frequent colds, asthma,
chronic sinus problems, menstrual problems, skin problems, breast, ovarian and uterine tumors, heart disease, chronic
constipation and childhood diabetes have all been linked to allergic reactions to cows milk.
Vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans are better sources of calcium than milk in quantity and quality.
If it comes out of a box, a tin or any other kind of packaging, be sure to read the ingredients.
You'd be amazed at the kinds of foods that conceal milk products. For someone with an allergy, even a pinch can be too
much, so read carefully.
Also note that there is no requirement in the U.S. to list ingredients that
constitute less than 1/2 of 1% (by mass) of a product (although many companies do voluntarily.). And 1/2 of
1% may still be higher than an individual's tolerance, depending upon how much of a product you eat and how severe your allergy
Finally, if a milk-free product is run on the same line as a milk-containing product, you may get trace amounts of milk
in the milk-free product due to cross-contamination. So, when in doubt, either don't use the product or else phone up the
company and ask. The following items on any ingredients list are no-nos:
- Milk solids ("curds")
- Casein (sodium caseinate, most commonly)
- Lactose (sodium lactylate, frequently)
- Lactalbumin and other names that begin with lact
- Galactose (a lactose by-product) Most people with milk allergies will have no trouble with galactose,
but you should be aware that it may cause problems in some people.
- Protein (often "high protein" or "protein enriched" version of another ingredient, such as wheat) The
added protein in foods (particularly "high energy" foods) is often milk protein.
- Recaldent. This ingredient, found in some Trident brand chewing gums, is milk-derived.
- Fruit flavored Tums contain undisclosed dairy. The original, white Tums are fine.
- "Natural ingredients". Some of these may contain dairy products or byproducts. Call the manufacturer
(an 800 number is usually listed on the packaging) for further information.
- and the obvious:
Be especially alert when obtaining the following, as milk products creep in:
(You can find many of these products w/o milk protein in them, just be a concientious shopper!)
- Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (for the unusually sensitive person) since the processing phase may
- Bread, and breaded (often fried) foods
- Chewing gum
- Soy cheeses
- "Non-dairy" anything, including Cool Whip. Non-dairy does not mean milk-free.
It is a term the dairy industry invented to indicate less than 1/2 % milk by weight, which could mean fully as much casein
as whole milk!
- Kosher parve desserts. (Most parve foods are okay, but we've occasionally had trouble with desserts.
It probably has to do with the degree of cleaning between milk and parve runs on the processing equipment.) Kosher recipes,
however, are a wonderful source of milk-free cooking ideas.)
- Medicines and vitamins. Be sure to let your physician and pharmacist know about your allergy!
- Baby formula. Even some of the hypo-allergenic ones may contain casein in small amounts.
- ALERT! Many people with milk allergies also develop soy allergies. (This may
be a result of exposure to soy at a very early age.) Most non-dairy baby formulas are soy-based. If your infant has a milk
allergy, stay alert to the possibility of a soy allergy, or some other food allergy, developing. (For older babies, rice milk
is a good alternative source of calcium.) If your baby is allergic to both milk and soy, consult with your pediatrician regarding
an amino acid-based formula.
- Canned tunafish. Many brands contain "hydrolized caseinate". However, the low sodium ones in spring water
(such as Star Kist), and all of Trader Joe brand tunafish, appear to be milk free.
- chicken broth: Any form, including canned and bouillion. Many brands contain milk solids.
- NOTE: sodium stearoyl lactylate has nothing to do with milk.
- Chocolates. Even dark or bittersweet chocolate is often run on the same production line as milk chocolate,
and the risk of cross-contamination is high if YOUR chocolate bar comes from the beginning of the run. You may, however, wish
to check out kosher pareve chocolates, such as the ones offered at http://choclat.com (Christmas and Easter themed chocolates are offered at this site, too. Another site which offers
dairy-free chocolates, and never uses dairy on any of their equipment, is http://chocolatedecadence.com/.
- ALERT! Tropical Source chocolate claims to be milk-free except in the processing
equipment. However, a number of people with milk allergy -- even mild forms of the allergy -- have had severe reactions when
eating their chocolate. Therefore, avoidance is recommended.
- NEW NOTE: Tropical Source is now running some of their chocolates on truly dairy-free lines. Read the
bar carefully, as some flavors are now safe to eat.
WARNING: Any food item may be processed on equipment which has previously processed a dairy product, and
the equipment may or may not be cleaned between manufacturing runs. Therefore, even if the item itself contains no dairy ingredients,
there may be a risk of cross-contamination. People with milk allergy have reported more trouble with chocolates than with
other products, by the way. What does this mean? It means that if your allergy is life-threatening and your tolerance is low,
you may wish to contact the manufacturer prior to sampling the product.
On the other hand, many items, including cakes and brownies and mixes to make them, are completely milk free. Generally
speaking, the cheaper an item is, the more likely it is to be milk-free. (Some products may still pose a risk of cross-contamination.
If your allergic tolerance is very low, please check kosher markings and proceed with caution, and always check ingredients
as manufacturers do change their formulations.)
Making a Milk-Safe Kitchen
In some families with conflicting diets, you may need to have milk-full as well as milk-free
foods in the house. Color-coding is the key to safety.. Depending upon the severity of the allergy in your family, you may
wish to keep separate "milk" and "no-milk" cooking utensils, flatware and so forth. If you do, make sure that you have one
style of dish, etc, for milk and a different style for milk-free items. Then just put a sticker on the drawer or cupboard
where these things are stored, with one consistent color for items containing/used for milk, and another color for everything
else. You can use the same sticker system for packages of processed foods and for leftovers stored in the fridge or freezer.
As you unload your groceries, add a sticker to the box so that even young children will know what they can eat and what they
It may not be necessary to separate plates and utensils in your home. However, certain items used in cooking, ones that
are hard to clean thoroughly, may benefit from having milk-full and milk-free versions, kept in separate drawers. If your
allergy is severe, you may also wish to have separate kitchen towels, sponges and pots&pans, and to wash them separetely.
The preceding methods are used routinely in kosher homes to good effect. They can work for you, too.
If you are looking at kitchen equipment, the two specialty items that we have found valuable in our kitchen are a bread
machine (since it's so hard to find tasty, milk-free bread) and an ice-cream maker. When making bread in a bread machine,
follow the recipe in whatever book you choose. Just omit the teaspoon of dry milk powder, or of milk) that most recipes call
for. The milk makes a very slight difference to the texture of the bread and crust, but is definitely NOT necesary in the
creation of a tasty loaf. Using your ice-cream maker, you can throw in just about any kind of juice or combination of juices
-- fresh or frozen -- and come out with a tasty sorbet.
For this, and more information, please visit 'Eating Without Casein'
See also, 'NoMilk.com'
As well as 'KidsHealth.org'