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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

China Discovers Dairy - and LI

Dairy is not historically a part of Chinese cuisine, at least for many of the main regional specialties that are thought of as being Chinese cuisine. The reasons for this are varied, but it is fair to say that milkable animals were never favored in eastern China where the bulk of the population has always been. Anthropologist Marvin Harris wrote about these historic trends in several of his books. (See my tribute to him and some links to his books here.)

With everything else in China being rapidly westernized, it's not surprising that the Chinese are also starting to accept more dairy in their diets. But since the Chinese are mostly lactose intolerant, that means that many of them are now discovering that dairy gives them the gas and other symptoms that those of us who are LI know so well.

So the China Daily put together an article on lactose intolerance for its readers. A very good article it is, too, and in English.

Those wanting a brief introduction to the subject should take the time to read the article for some good basic info.

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