Q & A: July 16, 2011

Welcome to CHEESESLAVE Q & A! Every Sunday, I answer your questions. I’ll answer as many questions as I can each week.

Welcome to CHEESESLAVE Q & A! Every Sunday, I answer your questions.  I’ll answer as many questions as I can each week. If I didn’t answer your question this week, please check back next week.

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If you have a question to submit, please email it to me at questions AT cheeseslave DOT com.

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1. Question: Where to Get Cod Liver Oil Gummy Fish?

I saw you mentioned Kate eating her cod liver oil gummy fish. I ordered them one time, but now I can’t seem to find them!  Where do you get them from?



I got them from Green Pasture Products, which you can find on my resources page.

Unfortunately, they have stopped carrying the gummy fish. They had some issues with them sticking together. I ended up buying a huge box of them when they were discontinued (at a great discount) so we have enough to last us for several months.

Even more unfortunately, they are not planning to bring them back (I heard something about not being able to get a manufacturer to make them cheaply enough — not sure if that is true). Anyhow, Dave did tell me that they are working on something similar, so we’ll just have to wait until that comes out.

2. Question:  Opinion on Infant Probiotics?

Hello Cheeseslave!  Thank you so very much for all of the wonderful information that you convey!

I was GBS positive so had antibiotics during labor with my son. Because of this I am assuming that he did not inherit any of my gut bacteria since it would have all been wiped out. It is my understanding that probiotics do not pass through breast milk.

I have been giving my 3 month old son some Country Life infant probiotics, but am wondering if there is a better brand. Do you think I could give him Biokult? What are your thoughts and suggestions?



Vaginal delivery is just one way that babies inherit our gut flora. They do also get probiotics from our breast milk.

If you are nursing, just take the Biokult yourself. It will pass through your milk to your baby. You can also break open a capsule and sprinkle a little of the powder on your nipples.

And yeah, I don’t recommend Country Life brand. In my experience, most of the probiotics you can buy in stores don’t work at all.

You can find Biokult listed on my resources page.

3. Question:  Suggestion for Light Tasting Olive Oil for Mayo?

Hi, Anne Marie,

I’m just wondering why you no longer have Chaffin’s olive oil listed on your resource page. I ordered from them last year and thought their oil was great in homemade mayonnaise, but when I tried to order more, they were out and I had to  wait several months to get more.

The second bottle didn’t taste as good as the first. It was a little too strong for me. Have you found another light-tasting olive oil good for mayo?

I know you’re busy, so answer when you can!



Hi, Sharon,

Chaffin Family Orchards is one of our Real Food Media sponsors and they will be listed on our resources page again very soon (within the month — we’re renewing their contract).

The reason they ran out for a while is because they only harvest the olives once a year. This is how they get such mild, light-tasting olive oil. It’s called “late harvest” — they harvest in late December/early January. Almost nobody does this — this is why Chaffin’s olive oil is so different. (It is also because they use Mission olives, which don’t grow everywhere.)

They do have some of the late-harvest olive oil in stock right now (go and get some!) and the Real Food Media bloggers will be helping them promote it in the coming months. Then in the fall, starting around September or October, we’ll start promoting their CSA program which will enable you to buy olive oil from them when they harvest in the new year.

4. Question:  Where to Purchase Flip Top Bottles to Store My Water Kefir?

Hi Ann Marie,

I am looking for flip-top bottles to store my water kefir. Do you have any recommendations for a place to buy them?

Rebecca Allen


The flip-top bottles you see pictured on my Water Kefir recipe post came from Whole Foods. They came as bottles of wine, which I drank and then used for water kefir.

You can see a photo of the bottle here. I don’t see them selling this brand at Whole Foods anymore but maybe you can find it at Le Pain au Quotidien, a chain of French boulangeries (bakeries). They are the makers of this particular wine. We have one here in L.A. but I haven’t checked to see if they carry the wine.

There are a few different brands of beer that have flip-tops — you can buy them in stores and then reuse them after you drink the beer. I have also seen the flip-top bottles at homebrew (beer making supply) stores.

Speaking of flip-tops, I recently tried a recipe for fizzy dairy kefir. It tastes like kefir champagne. You make dairy kefir, letting it ferment for 24 hours or longer, and then you put it in a flip-top bottle and shake it every few hours. You let it ferment in there for a few more days. It’s really delicious.

5. Question:  Can the GAPS Diet Help Heal Tooth Decay?

I hear a lot about the things the GAPS diet can cure. Could it also help heal tooth decay?  I’ve already read
Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel but haven’t had much luck with his recommendations.



Yes! If you’re not having luck with the recommendations from Rami, and you suspect a leaky gut, then I would absolutely try the GAPS Diet.

Here’s why.  When we have abnormal gut flora and a leaky gut, we are not able to properly digest and absorb nutrients. If you can’t absorb the nutrients, they are not going to go to the parts of the body where we need them (like the bones and teeth). So it is critical to heal the gut first.

6. Question: Can You Explain the GAPS Diet Compared to the Food Pyramid?


I’ve recently been learning about WAPF dietary principles and GAPS diet. GAPS in particular has reduced carbs by eliminating grains and starches etc. This does not worry me as I believe that so much carb is not completely necessary as long as we get calories from fat.

There are some people who are concerned about low carb diets such as GAPS as they feel carbs are essential based on the food pyramid where a large proportion of your meal would be rice, pasta or bread. How best to explain to people that the food pyramid is not the healthiest way to eat and that all those carbs are not essential? Perhaps there is something written on the topic already to explain this simply.



Here is a video:

As I’m sure you know, the GAPS diet goes beyond just reducing carbs and eliminating grains. It is really about healing the gut. So many of us have damaged guts due to taking antibiotics, the birth control pill, steroids and other medications, drinking chlorinated water, and also eating foods that are not properly prepared and thus very hard to digest (like unfermented soy and other legumes, unsoaked nuts, whole grains and seeds).

First of all, we have to avoid foods that are hard to digest. This includes all disaccharides and polysaccharides, which require you to produce enzymes in order to digest them. If you have a damaged gut, you cannot produce those enzymes, and so these foods are indigestible. Monosaccharides are allowed, because you do not need enzymes to break them down — this includes meats, fish, bone broths, and non-starchy vegetables.

7. Question:  Is My Body Having Difficulty Digesting Cow’s Milk?


I came across your blog a few weeks ago, although for a while now I have been a proponent of “real foods.” I’m only sixteen, but since I cured myself of Crohn’s disease by changing my diet (well, not sure if I’m “cured.” But I have no symptoms whatsoever), I have been very interested in nutrition.

My family and I recently found a local source of raw milk, which I use to make homemade kefir. I know how nutritious kefir is, and because I don’t eat much organ meat, I include it in my diet along with plenty of cod liver oil, butter oil, pastured chicken eggs, and grass-fed meat.

However, I have noticed since I reintroduced dairy back into my diet that bowel movements have become a bit more difficult to pass, not by much, but there was a definite change. Do you think my body is having difficult digesting cow’s milk, even in a fermented state? I would really hate to stop drinking kefir, but if my body is telling me something, I want to listen to it.



Hi, Julia,

Good for you that you cured yourself! I cured myself when I was in my 20s and I’m so glad I took the time to research and learn, and take my health back into my own hands.

What you may want to do is start more slowly with the kefir. Often when we introduce fermented foods or probiotics, our symptoms seem to get worse for a while. This is because the good bacteria we are introducing are going to work fighting the bad guys (the pathogenic bacteria). When the bad guys get killed off, they need to be eliminated, and this can cause uncomfortable symptoms if we move too quickly.

Maybe you can start with just a tablespoon (or even a teaspoon) per day, and slowly increase by a tablespoon (or teaspoon) every few days. See if that helps. Kefir is an amazing food with many more strains of good bacteria than just about anything else so I think you’ll see good results if you go slow.

8. Question:  Are the Healthy Ingredients from Dandy Blend Coffee Ruined When Roasted?

I realize the Dandy Blend is healthier than coffee, but was wondering whether those normally healthy ingredients become ruined, once they are roasted?

I’m also wondering whether the constituent grains may make this an acid pH.



Here is the answer from the Dandy Blend website:

Q. Doesn’t roasting destroy enzymes, vitamins, and other components in the roots and grains?
A. Some enzymes and vitamins are affected by roasting. However, dandelions and other ingredients contain many minerals that are locked up behind thick cell walls. Roasting releases them and makes them more available to the body than they are in the raw state. It also carmelizes digestive bitters and makes them more effective.

As far as the grains that are added to the Dandy Blend, I’m not really sure what you mean about an acid pH. Maybe you could clarify in the comments? I guess I want to know why this is an issue for you.

9. Question:  Recommendation on What to Eat After Food Poisoning?

Hi, Ann Marie!

I read your posts every time, very very educational. Love the Q&A  posts!!! We “live” traditional life, but some times we get food poisoning (probably because I ate old food)! What would you recommend to eat after the vomiting and not eating anything for a day or so? I did drink and try to kept hydrated, it was tough, since nothing would stay in, but eventually it did. I don’t eat grains, sometimes I eat gluten free, I just have gluten intolerance more than anything else. Thank you!



I have had food poisoning a couple of times in the past few years. One time it was because I did not add enough whey to one of my ferments (I did not follow the recipe) and another time it was because I bought some chicken at the farmer’s market on a hot day and did not put it in the fridge soon enough.

On the occasions I have gotten food poisoning, I have taken activated charcoal. It will chelate everything out of your system pretty quickly. I don’t recommend taking it unless you really need it (i.e., you’re sick with some kind of food poisoning) because it chelates everything — all the good and the bad.

10. Question:  What Does “White Label” Actually Mean?

Hi Ann Marie,

I read that you said that Niman Ranch has now gone “white label” and you no longer buy their meats. I don’t have a local source for properly raised pork and had been buying Niman Ranch as a “good” meat but now am wondering what you mean by white label and if I should just not eat pork till I find better?



I’m not sure where you read that. What I said was that I used to buy Niman Ranch bacon from Trader Joe’s. They recently switched at my store to a “white label” brand of unknown origin. White label means they don’t put the Niman Ranch label on — it just says Trader Joe’s brand. Trader Joe’s sells a lot of their products this way (this is one of the ways they keep the prices so low).

I asked at the store where the new “white label” bacon came from and they said they didn’t know. Unless and until I know where the bacon comes from, I’m no longer buying it.

I now buy bacon from my local farmer who raises his pigs outdoors, or I sometimes get it from Whole Foods.

Got a Comment?

I don’t claim to have all the answers.  And I love hearing from you guys!  If you have feedback on any of the above questions and answers, please share your thoughts n the comments below.

Got a Question?

Please submit your questions to questions AT cheeseslave DOT com. I’ll answer your questions every Sunday in the order I receive them.