Justin Skolnick lives and works in Portland.

Lactase Persistence

Originally posted to justin.revision8.com on in Cary, Illinois

The old ideas persist. Pigs were made for pork and stones for castle-building — and because we enter a world in which such decisions have already been made for us, they seem natural and just. Hence the insinuations: ingrate, agitator. I don’t drink milk; I’ve got evil ideas.

Once these irritations have passed, the question of nutrition arises. “How do you get enough calcium?” Dairy-free choices include an array of fruits, legumes, and leafs. I get a healthy amount of calcium.

Not only is life without milk possible, it’s simple, and may not be unnatural afterall. Writes the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine regarding lactose intolerance:

In 1988, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported, “It rapidly became apparent that this pattern was the genetic norm, and that lactase activity was sustained only in a majority of adults whose origins were in Northern European or some Mediterranean populations.” In other words, Caucasians tolerate milk sugar only because of an inherited genetic mutation.

The true abnormality, the writers claim, is “lactase persistence,” which may be the best description of my post-dairy experience in this milk-steeped culture.

I smile and raise a glass of Silk.