Photo by donald modeste on Unsplash
Nana: Nina, why haven’t you drunk your milk yet? It’s been lying there for half an hour. Get to it.
Nina: But Nana, I think I am lactose intolerant. If I drank milk, I could be poisoning myself.
Nana: Nonsense! That’s a namby-pamby western malady. Humans have been drinking milk forever and it’s what makes our bones strong and none of us who drink milk lack toes.
Nina: Very funny Nana. But almost 60% of Indians are lactose intolerant to some degree.
Nana: That’s impossible. Milk is an integral part of our diet. We worship cows for their milk.
Nina: It’s true that the numbers are smaller in north India compared to south India, because dairy farming there has given a boost to the lactose digesting
Nana: Whatever do you mean? Evolution is a very slow process.
Nina: that’s true for things like development of the eye, but this is simpler and tehre are strong environmental influences.
Nana: You’ve read one of those annoying articles, haven’t you? <groan>
Nina: I have and research shows that lactose persistence in a population studied in Germany increased from 12.5% to 90% in a mere 3000 years, or approximately 120 generations. That’s amazing.
Nana: And can you explain it?
Nina: Of course. That’s easy. The children who were lactose persistent could drink milk and had a better chance of survival to reproduction age. So the gene permeated a large section of the population.
Nana: So there you go. That’s why you should drink your milk. I wan’t great grandchildren you know.
Nina: Nana. It doesn’t work like that! I don’t have the gene. Drinking milk won’t change that. It’ll only make me sick.
Nana: You’re making me sick with all your jibber-jabber. Drink the milk, or no ice-cream for you ever again. Come to think of it, if you are lactose intolerant, you shouldn’t be eating ice-cream, or chocolate, or tiramisu or pudding.
Nina: Hold on Nana. May be I only have a mild lactose intolerance, only triggered by milk. Cream has a lower percentage of lactose than milk you know.
Nana: Sure, but why take a chance? It’s all or nothing, Nina. You decide.
Nina: Fine. I’ll drink the milk. Can I at least have some chocolate sauce in it?
Nana: Nope. But Kanika’s blog post gave me a better idea that may help. Try it chilled.
This post is a part of the #NinaAndNana series I co-host with Lavanya Srinivasan. Her posts can be found here.