Brian Leiter links to this post today, which bears on the discussion of taste we've been having here recently. Is the idea of cutting back and only eating super-tasty meat appallingly stupid? Or is there something to it?
Also relevant to our recent taste discussion is this post, which makes it clear that milk-drinking is genetic for many humans, not just learned generation by generation.
my reading of the 'whyevolutionistrue' blog (and my prior understanding of the science and history) is that milk *tolerance* has evolved in relatively recent history. Until several thousand years ago adult humans would get sick if they drank the milk from cows. That is still the case for humans in some parts of the world.
Ib any case the presence of intestinal lactase doesn't necessarily imply that a *taste* for milk is genetically programmed. One interesting thing to take from this literature is just how recent in our evolutionary history dairy consumption is.
He says about 9,000 years ago within the specific cultural and geographic milieu of northern Europe herders, lactose tolerance developed, presumably because adult milk-drinking increased fitness. What I was thinking was that there would have been two barriers to adult milk-drinking. Lactose intolerance and simply not liking milk. Someone who's lactose tolerant but hates milk isn't going to drink it. Admittedly I'm going beyond the study Coyne cites.
On the other hand, maybe liking milk just comes for free with liking sweet, fatty food (a different evolved trait. Or maybe it's an ancient selected trait of all mammals, which would make sense. More data needed! I wonder if lactose intolerant Asians like milk.
Liking milk has a cultural factor.
Most adults in the United States drink and like milk. Almost no adult Chilean drinks or likes milk. Chilean children uniformly refuse to drink regular milk and drink chocolate milk. That holds true independently of the possible racial background of Chileans. Drinking milk is seen as positive in U.S. culture and seen as weird in Chilean culture. That has nothing to do with a taste for, say, cheese or ice cream.
I'm asian, but I'm not precisely sure if I'm lactose intolerant. I eat cheese, and I like it, but I don't (usually) get sick from it, but supposedly there is no lactose in cheese. I drink skim milk when I do drink milk, but I don't really like milk that much. I think I might be mildly intolerant to it. So thats why I discriminate against it.
As for tremendomeatatarianism... Seems like palate before suffering still. Foie Gras and veal being the best examples of this. Also the first commenter (Greg I believe) says it best.... How would you know its tremendously tasty before you eat it?
Adult milk-drinking is a perversion, a disgusting example of how distorted taste can become if determined by quasi scientific nonsense. A little more of that Chilean wine, if you please. Yes, the California Sauvignon will do nicely, thank you.
Rtk: I like wine with my meals myself. However, stock up on Chilean wine if you like it, since the wine industry was badly damaged by the earthquake and prices will probably go up.
Milk in cereal, milk in coffee...what's perverted about that? Are you going to put wine in your cereal and coffee?
A little in coffee, yes, okay. The kids can have the cereal.
I will, in fact, Amos, go to the liquor store tomorrow for Chilean wine. It's excellent.
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