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All About My Site

Updated July 14, 2009

Hi. Steve Carper here. Welcome to the Twelth Year of The Clearinghouse.

That's right. It all started in November 1997. I had recently published my second book on LI, Milk Is Not for Every Body: Living with Lactose Intolerance and I was looking for a way to keep it updated.

I created a few pages in Microsoft Word and posted them. About the only thing I can claim is that it got the bibliography and footnotes for the book up on the web where everybody could use them. Other than that it looked awful.

So I learned to code HTML. And I started adding sections. A listing of milk alternative products. Q and A's from the email I received. A bookstore.

And they grew and grew. I can't do anything halfway. If I'm going to post milk alternative products, then I want to list every national brand that existed plus all the contact information. Why bother otherwise? If I'm going to post books, then I'm going to search Amazon exhaustively until I hunt down every possible type of book that anyone coming to this site might need.

That's a lot of work, but I think it's worth it. Problem is, it's just as much work to do to keep it updated. And there's just me on the other side of the computer screen. Every word, every bit of coding you see here, every reply to every email, that's all me in my spare time.

So I've fallen behind. My apologies. But. (You knew there was going to be a "but," I hope.)

Here's the good news.

I started a blog, the Planet Lactose blog, to be exact. It's a hundred times easier to do a quick update of a blog than it is to create new pages - and all the links - here. Expect to see lots of new info there. And much more quickly, since this gives me a way to share the good stuff that comes my way that really doesn't fit into any of the corners of the Clearinghouse.

And blogs allow comments. You know you want to.

Remember, I call this site the Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse, Planet Lactose for fun. You send me information and I'll make it available for the whole world to see. I've received email from people in thirty countries on six continents.

Remember, too, that while my primary goal is to provide information for those who are LI, I have a huge amount of info for the many other groups who also need or desire to avoid dairy products: vegans; people with dairy protein allergies; Jews who try to keep kosher and Muslims who follow Halal principles; those with a huge variety of illnesses from celiac disease through galactosemia and more. Wherever possible, I distinguish between those who want to keep milk in their diets and those who want to keep milk out and make note of the products, books, and advice appropriate for each.

Below is a section by section breakdown of what you can find on my site. There are over 100 pages now, which means almost everything you need to know should be available.

If not, drop me a line at and I'll come up with the answer or even create a new page for it.

Thanks for dropping by. And I hope you come back again, because there's always something new. Even when it's old and updated.

  New! Google Search!

      I've added a Google search bar to my home page that lets you search both the web and my site. Well, one problem. Since my site is hosted on Compuserve, the search engine actually searches all the pages on, and not just my site. So you may get hits that are not from my site. Sorry. If I ever figure out how to change this, I will.
  LI Basics
      Just found out that you're LI and don't know quite what that means or what to do? Here are some basic facts that everyone who is LI ought to know. The Ten Top Questions. Myths to disregard. All about that wonder in pill form, Lactase. The most asked question of all is covered in the LI v. Milk Allergy page. And now a new page on LI Tests. Plus all my monthly columns from Allergy Hotline newsletter, which explain the important beginning issues as simply as I can manage. And there's also info on The No Milk List, where people with really serious problems trade helpful hints, and an ever-lengthening list of Links to LI and related sites all over the world!

  Dairy Facts

      To live life as LI, you must know all about milk. I explain just about every milk term you might find on an ingredients list in my SuperGuide to Dairy. Unsure just how much lactose is in cottage cheese or sour cream? Check my Really BIG List of Lactose Percentages. One question I always get asked is if there is lactose in lactic acid, lactate, and lactylate. This can be tough to answer so I let The Experts Speak. And just for fun, visit The Lactose Zoo! to see how much lactose camel, llama and rat milk has, and check my Supermarket Foolers page just so you never get taken in by apple butter or cream of tarter.

  The Product Clearinghouse
      Every time I hit a new supermarket or health food store, I find new products to list in The Product Clearinghouse, completely updated as November 2004. It keeps growing, both in the number of products – and the number of pages. There's a Directory to help you get started finding the milk alternative you're looking for, in 30 categories. International viewers should check the Canadian Products and Sites and UK and European News pages. Plus addresses, phone and fax numbers and URLs for as many companies as I can find, now all on one covenient Addresses and Links page. And, because you've been good, Lactose-free Chocolates!.

  Your Questions Answered
      Real questions from real readers. If they wonder, you probably do too. The questions don't change much, so I stopped updating a while back. Still, with over 120 questions answered the odds are good that you'll see yourself somewhere in them. Start with the Index and Quick Finder to help you zero in on that one question you really, really want answered. And if you still can't find it, drop me a line at and I'll answer you directly. Deal?

  The Milk-Free Bookstore
      The Milk-Free Bookstore has links to over 150 books covering everything you could possibly want to know about what to put into your body and what happens once it's there. There are cookbooks galore (dairy-free, allergy-sensitive, vegan, and even wheat-free for our celiac friends), books on understanding your digestion and coping with diseases, books on traveling milk-free, even books on sorbets to clear your palate for the next batch. There are books on vegetarian parenting, about children and food allergies – at children's reading levels – and a few for special dessert treats. Remember, just click on the book covers to go to; hope they whet your appetite for the real thing. And use the search capability to find any book that carries. And now you can go straight to the top! My Top Ten Bestsellers will show you what those other knowledgeable folk who stop by think are the hottest books around.

  News from Planet Lactose
      Start here for the latest Hot Topics! of merely earthshaking importance. Did you know that you can't get Lactase Drops in the US any more? But you can order them from Canada! I tell you how. And while we're hopscotching the world, go see my newly reorganized UK And European Lactose News page. Pages on DairyCare and Digestive Advantage, two products that are proving to be enourmous successes for those who are LI. And did you know that Whoopi Goldberg is LI?

      Believe me, you don't want to read the medical literature on LI. That's why I do it for you in The Research Clearinghouse. Realistically, nothing of importance has been learned over the past few years, but anything that does come up I cover in Medical Hot Topics here. How hot is this? You won't believe where manufacturers put Lactose in Medicine. The last and only Lactose-Free Contraceptive Pill! And who knew that Constipation could be a symptom of milk allergy?

  Fun Stuff
      Don't let milk get you down. Have FUN WITH MILK! Take the bizarrely mystifying LI Quiz. Make sure you sneak a peek at the oddest calendar prior to Y2K, the Weird Milk Fact Reverse Monthly Calendar.

  Me and My Books
      I can't be modest all the time. Milk Is Not for Every Body: Living with Lactose Intolerance really is the best book on the subject ever written. Find out more about it, and more about other books I've written. And if you're really strange, find out about my second career in Science Fiction and Me. My Science Fiction pages contain a list of my recent short fiction, links to reviews I've written, and now my latest columns for the SFWA Bulletin.

If you want to ask a question, tell me about a great new product, put in your two cents about the new look of the Clearinghouse, or just say hi, send it to Every message will get a personal response (well, sooner or later, but usually sooner). If you do not receive a response within about a week, assume that the e-mail has been lost and send the message again. I repeat, I respond to every single message. If you have not heard from me, a computer intervened.

Remember. I am not a doctor. I do not do diagnoses, prognoses, descriptions or prescriptions. The only medical advice I give is: "See your doctor". I am an information source only.

Similarly, I do not endorse or advocate the use or disuse of milk in any of its forms or any food, beverage, or alternative to or substitute for milk. If you ask, I will share my knowledge of particular products or types of products that appear to suit your needs. I do not receive money or any kind of consideration from anyone in return. I try to be impartial and non-judgmental. I believe all of you know your own bodies and needs better than I do. All I can do is try to help you better understand what those might be.

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Copyright 2004 by Steve Carper