Skip to main content

This quote from the (great) diarist Ojibwa on "Ancient Scotland" caught my attention:
"...In addition to cereal crops, cattle appear to have been an important part of their subsistence. This suggests that they were descendants of the Homo sapiens population in Turkey about 8,000 years ago when there was a genetic mutation that allowed adults to consume milk..."

Have gone down the milk wiki well. Let me share with you what I have found about adult consuption of milk. Here's a wiki on "lactose persistence":

It has a spreadsheet showing lactose intolerance ranging from .2% for Basques, 10% for Brits, 50% for Italians, 80% for Chinese through to 100% for Native Americans.

I am old and remember a conflict between my first generation Italian parents pushing milk even though they were not big fans. I remember my immigrant grandparents not being fans of milk. Big fans of wine with parmesian cheese.

This wiki link on gene-culture coevolution is interesting:

"....Culture can profoundly influence gene frequencies in a population. One of the best known examples is the prevalence of the genotype for adult lactose absorption in human populations, such as Northern Europeans and some African societies, with a long history of raising cattle for milk. Other societies such as East Asians and Amerindians, retain the typical mammalian genotype in which the body shuts down lactase production shortly after the normal age of weaning. This implies that the cultural practice of raising cattle for milk led to a selection for genetic traits for lactose digestion.[18] Recently, analysis of natural selection on the human genome suggests that civilization has accelerated genetic change in humans over the past 10,000 years...."

The BBC has an article on China going from no big fans of milk to milk being all the rage:

"..."When I first went to Hong Kong in the 1960s, I would bring in little pieces of New Zealand cheese. At one point the landlord, a Cantonese guy, saw the cheese and got violently ill just by the sight. It grossed him out, as much the idea of eating rotten cow's milk as anything. Now his grandchildren are eating pizza and processed cheese...."

In the back of my head there's an aversion to dairy products. I'd rather have a wine orange cooler or even better a wine whiskey manhattan :-)
Some of my earliest memories are drinking wine coolers and an occasional sip of a manhattan at my grandparents homes.

I may have a cultural aversion to drinking dairy products but i'm not lactose intolerant.
Seems with what's happening in historically milk aversion countries like China is an intersesting story of cultural changes trumping natural selection.


Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  My lactose intolerance permits me to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nio, Debby, Notreadytobenice

    consume cheese but not milk in any quantity. Heavy cream is okay.

  •  I drink water in a 2:1 ratio (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debby, Notreadytobenice

    to counteract the reaction.  Works for me.

    Something to do with high school chemistry (or so I like to tell myself).

    That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence

    by wretchedhive on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 04:50:04 PM PDT

  •  Even today, there are more sheep (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    milked in the world than cows, believe it or not.

    Historically, our ancestors would be far more likely to be drinking sheep's milk as sheep are easier to take care of and also produce meat and wool.

    And as I own a sheep dairy, I am familiar with the structure of sheep's milk and how it is different.  It has lactose, but a very different type than cow's milk.

    People with intolerance to cow's milk usually have no problem with sheep's milk.  My two nephews can attest to that.

    Unfortunately the milk is almost impossible to come by as it is all used for cheese, and would be very expensive.

    But if you like cheese, but it bothers you, try sheep's milk cheeses.

  •  Fermented milk products like yogurt still have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debby, Notreadytobenice

    plenty of lactose but all the Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in the yogurt have produced a lot of beta galactosidase and enough of that enzyme survives the stomach acid and enzymes to help split the lactose.

    Bipartisan analogy: Both musicians and fishermen want more bass.

    by OHdog on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 05:56:34 PM PDT

  •  This is brief but helpful and well documented. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debby, Notreadytobenice

    My father's Italian family would not drink milk once in their teens. My mother's German/Alsatian family drank milk throughout their lives.

    It's a glimpse into a fascinating subject.

    Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

    by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 08:50:15 PM PDT

    •  Yes, I just asked my 2nd gen Polish... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Regina in a Sears Kit House

      wife and her memories are of a milk-rich childhood but not soda pop (tonic) but a sip of beer on occasion.
      No wine;  beer and whiskey at the grandparent's table.
      I think it's my italian cultural roots that causes my milk aversion not the inablility to physically process.
      Mind over matter?

      Our young adult P/I children are not big milk drinkers. My young adult nephews/nieces of polish/german ancestry drink milk at my house like it's going out of $tyle.
      Thanks for your rec. It's my second diary:-)

      •  Sometimes a little more heft or a clear (0+ / 0-)

        introduction to your premise, then developed, will bring more eyes to your subject. I really liked your information. Well done.

        Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

        by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 05:52:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The kidster is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    lactose intolerant so we never have regular milk in the house. The hubster switched to almond milk a few years ago when we did a "cleanse". I get most of my dairy from lattes! I bought regular milk the other day by mistake (different brand, same color as the lactose-free) and damn! was it ever good. I might have to go back to it, particularly with a PB&J sandwich!

    Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

    by Debby on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 10:40:06 PM PDT

    •  So your lactose Tolerant and you like mik? so (0+ / 0-)

      what's your roots? I bet you had a milk-rich childhood and have a heritage that included rasing cattle/sheep a thousand years ago :-)

      Or, like me, a PB (no J) sandwich with a cold glass of milk is pretty great once a week but in general avoid milk. My italian ancenstry appears to be growing grapes and rasing rabbits and chickens (hard to milk those critters).

      But you never know as when visiting my grandparents villages, I met cousins with red hair and blue eyes.

      •  No, no, my kid is LI. (0+ / 0-)

        Which just boggles my mind as I was primarily a milk drinker well into my 20s. Actually, I probably only slacked off seriously after the cleanse and the need in our household for the LI milk, the almond milk, and then I just didn't have the interest in getting in a third type.

        My heritage is largely German. Both of my grandfathers have Anglo last names, but at least on one side, his mother is German as well. All the other lines are thoroughly Deutsche! So, yeah, a long line of German farmers with their beloved milk cows. Oh! That reminds me! Doing family research, I found a will on file from several generations ago. The boy got the farm and both girls each got a milk cow! Ah, the good old days!

        Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

        by Debby on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 08:00:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site