I'm getting a little crazed these days as I read label after label and they seem to contradict themselves more often than not. I just don't get it. I do my homework, I read the labels, I stay abreast of the names disguised and clearly stated of the ingredients I need to avoid. And yes, I whine a bit as that list continues to grow. But I expect to do that, I don't complain about that.
What has me more than a little angry is the "dairy-free" or "non-dairy" labeling. Many people have trouble digesting lactose, it's true, but lactose is not the only component in dairy products. Of course, you know that. Who doesn't know that? Apparently those who label our "dairy-free" products don't. Check out the products calling themselves dairy-free. Take dairy-free cheese for instance, virtually all of them contain casein. I'm only aware of one brand without casein. I have never seen a soy cheese without casein. The same holds true for almost all rice cheeses. True, they're lactose-free usually, but including casein, the protein present in milk from cows, goats, sheep, etc., by any definition I know, precludes these from the non-dairy designation. And yet, there it is.
Milk protein is dairy. How can it be otherwise? Any product that contains casein or caseinate should truly not be labeled non-dairy or dairy-free. We make a clear point of addressing gluten, the protein in wheat, rye, barley, etc., that gives so many of us grief, to put it mildly. Please, let's be as clear about dairy.
And now I'll get off of my soapbox.