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Old 05-22-2020, 08:19 PM
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Did "New World" foods cause any widespread GI issues after global distribution?


Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, corn, cocoa, etc. are now staples of cuisine all over the world. But these foods were unknown to the rest of the world prior to the “discovery” of North and South America. I would expect that many people in Europe, Asia and Africa would have experienced at least some gastrointestinal distress to many of these foods due to unfamiliarity. Did this happen, and how widespread was it? Did people react worse to some of these new foods more than others? Does the fact that these foods are now essentially safe for most of the world’s population suggest that we’ve evolved to accept these foods more easily?
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:52 PM
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This paper says that capsicum peppers actually are good for digestion because they irritate the oral and gastrointestinal membranes, increasing the flow of saliva and thus the passage of food through the mouth to the stomach, which is better for digestion.

https://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu...unnQianJEP.pdf

(Search on the word "gastrointestinal".)

So, surprisingly, capsicum peppers are good precisely because they burn your mouth.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:12 PM
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At an English dinner party for the king, the cooks took this new vegetable that had sprouted on its voyage from the New World and not knowing about it served the green stalks and made everyone sick. Because of this potatoes were banned from England for many years.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:39 PM
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Dairy and alcohol have been problems for a lot of people in the world.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:47 PM
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As mentioned, if the wrong parts of potatoes are served they can be problematic. I have done considerable research on the Columbian exchange of crops, and I have not hear of other problems.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:47 PM
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Why would an unfamiliar vegetable give you an upset stomach?
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:47 PM
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Dairy and alcohol have been problems for a lot of people in the world.
But they are not of New World origin, rather the reverse.
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:22 AM
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Why would an unfamiliar vegetable give you an upset stomach?
Example: Eating a sprouted potato because you don't know you're not supposed to.
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:36 AM
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Why would an unfamiliar vegetable give you an upset stomach?
Everyone has a different mix of gut bacteria. If you introduce something new to your diet, your flora and fauna may have a hard time adapting.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:19 AM
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At the bottom level of digestion, though, aren't our systems dealing with pretty much the same chemical reactions? There are a set number of -ose molecules that our digestive system knows how to hook together and break apart. There are so many amino acids that we build up into proteins and tear down again.

So when a human runs into a 'new to you' brand of grain, doesn't your body just pretty much shrug and get on with it? Yeah, the molecules are hooked into a new pattern we will label 'maize', but aren't all the components the same ones that were used to build 'wheat' and 'rice' and 'barley'? Maybe a different break down of how many of variety X you have vs. how many of variety Y, but not really alien?
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:27 AM
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At an English dinner party for the king, the cooks took this new vegetable that had sprouted on its voyage from the New World and not knowing about it served the green stalks and made everyone sick. Because of this potatoes were banned from England for many years.
This is probably not true.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:00 AM
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Everyone has a different mix of gut bacteria. If you introduce something new to your diet, your flora and fauna may have a hard time adapting.
I'm not sure this is a thing. Eating something poisonous, sure. Eating a potato or corn for the first time? It's not like we need special bugs for digesting them.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:12 AM
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This is probably not true.
Maybe not, but potatoes and tomatoes are part of the nightshade family. Old World people avoided eating them for a long time in the belief that they are poisonous. And they can be, if you eat the wrong part of the plant.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:23 AM
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Maybe not, but potatoes and tomatoes are part of the nightshade family. Old World people avoided eating them for a long time in the belief that they are poisonous. And they can be, if you eat the wrong part of the plant.
What part of the tomato plant is poisonous?
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:29 AM
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Dairy products are hard to digest for those peoples who did not milk their domestic animals. Meat can be difficult if you have been a vegetarian for a long time. Those -- and alcohol for those who never invented it -- are the only things I can think of that have caused problems for any large group of people. Certainly not grains, fruits, or vegetables.

Potatoes which are beginning to green up are extremely bitter. It's hard to believe anyone would eat enough of one to be poisoned.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:30 AM
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What part of the tomato plant is poisonous?
All of it except the tomatoes themselves. Same with all the nightshade foods -- eggplant, potato, okra.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:32 AM
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Like anything involving nutrition, you can find conflicting advice.

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Fruits and vegetables from the nightshade family are staple foods for many people. Nightshades are nutritious, healthful foods and the idea that they cause inflammation is not supported by evidence. Nightshade foods contain solanine, a chemical which some people believe may aggravate arthritis pain or inflammation
Link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321745

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The poisonous alkaloid [solanine] is found in the green parts of potatoes, including new sprouts, stems, leaves, small fruits, and occasionally the normally-edible tubers if they are exposed to sunlight or stored improperly in very high or cold conditions. When they sprout and start to enlarge, even potato eyes can be poisonous. And because they are still actively growing, small immature tubers and “new” potatoes, especially when eaten with their skins, can be fairly high in the alkaloids.

...

A lot of older and wild varieties of potatoes have high concentrations of solanine; some new varieties tested high as well, but most have been taken off the commercial market. Luckily, modern agriculture researchers have come up with potato varieties with less solanine, so we are unlikely to run into trouble with it in our part of the world. In fact an average adult male would have to eat more than four pounds of deeply green, bitter potatoes to get seriously ill.
Link: https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/ou...toes-poisonous

Both suggest potatoes are safe, but one suggests that solanine isn't particularly dangerous and the other suggests that it's very dangerous, or at least was before that was bred for lower levels. I don't believe large numbers of natives were killed by poisonous potatoes.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:38 AM
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The Smithsonian Magazine reported on the tomato's introduction to the old world, like others mention, a lot of misunderstandings about how to eat the proper part of the plant and the way it was served, no issues about human genes being affected.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-...-years-863735/
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In the late 1700s, a large percentage of Europeans feared the tomato.

A nickname for the fruit was the “poison apple” because it was thought that aristocrats got sick and died after eating them, but the truth of the matter was that wealthy Europeans used pewter plates, which were high in lead content. Because tomatoes are so high in acidity, when placed on this particular tableware, the fruit would leach lead from the plate, resulting in many deaths from lead poisoning. No one made this connection between plate and poison at the time; the tomato was picked as the culprit.

Around 1880, with the invention of the pizza in Naples, the tomato grew widespread in popularity in Europe. But there’s a little more to the story behind the misunderstood fruit’s stint of unpopularity in England and America, as Andrew F. Smith details in his The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture, and Cookery. The tomato didn’t get blamed just for what was really lead poisoning. Before the fruit made its way to the table in North America, it was classified as a deadly nightshade, a poisonous family of Solanaceae plants that contain toxins called tropane alkaloids.
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But what really did the tomato in, according to Smith’s research, was John Gerard’s publication of Herball in 1597 which drew heavily from the agricultural works of Dodoens and l’Ecluse (1553). According to Smith, most of the information (which was inaccurate to begin with) was plagiarized by Gerard, a barber-surgeon who misspelled words like Lycoperticum in the collection’s rushed final product. Smith quotes Gerard:

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Gerard considered ‘the whole plant’ to be ‘of ranke and stinking savour.’… The fruit was corrupt which he left to every man’s censure. While the leaves and stalk of the tomato plant are toxic, the fruit is not.
Gerard’s opinion of the tomato, though based on a fallacy, prevailed in Britain and in the British North American colonies for over 200 years.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:45 AM
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At the bottom level of digestion, though, aren't our systems dealing with pretty much the same chemical reactions? There are a set number of -ose molecules that our digestive system knows how to hook together and break apart. There are so many amino acids that we build up into proteins and tear down again.

So when a human runs into a 'new to you' brand of grain, doesn't your body just pretty much shrug and get on with it? Yeah, the molecules are hooked into a new pattern we will label 'maize', but aren't all the components the same ones that were used to build 'wheat' and 'rice' and 'barley'? Maybe a different break down of how many of variety X you have vs. how many of variety Y, but not really alien?
Most adults lose the ability to digest lactose, the sugar in milk, unless they have the mutation that never stops the production of the lactase enzyme. This, as said earlier, is correlated with milking populations, which historically have tended to be white. When humanitarian programs brought large amounts of dairy products to Africa after WWII, they found people refused them because of claimed sickness. It took a while for the reason to be understood. So-called adult onset lactose intolerance wasn't in the medical literature until about 1970.

There are other intolerances, gluten and fructose probably the main ones. In addition, two other pathways exist that cause digestive distress. Allergies usually affect the skin or respiration, but some digestive effects are known, including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. More significantly, several diseases, like irritable bowel syndrome, have food triggers. It's unclear how far back IBS goes, but food triggers likely play a large part in the difficulties people have when encountering a different ethnic food.
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:41 PM
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.... they have the mutation that never stops the production of the lactase enzyme. This, as said earlier, is correlated with milking populations, which historically have tended to be white.
Please provide a cite for the claim that “milking populations have tended to be white “.

As per my reading the cow was first domesticated in the Middle East.

In India, many people are vegetarian and milk is considered to be vegetarian and consumed by much of the population, old and young. If I remember correctly cattle was reared in the Indus Valley civilization circa 3300 BC.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:05 PM
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.... a lot of misunderstandings about how to eat the proper part of the plant and the way it was served....
That was funny. Something similar happened with Tea when it was introduced to Americans :

“ Many colonists put the tea into water, boiled it for a time, threw the liquid away, and ate the tea- leaves. In Salem they did not find the leaves very attractive, so they put butter and salt on them”
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:14 PM
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Everyone has a different mix of gut bacteria. If you introduce something new to your diet, your flora and fauna may have a hard time adapting.
A nutrient that's new to you, or unusual (like lactose for an adult) sure. But most new-to-you vegetables are made of pretty much the same stuff as other vegetables.

I'm a picky eater, but I like to try new foods. I actively seek out new meats, fruits, and vegetables to try. I can't recall ever having any intestinal issues after trying any new food.

Well, when I decided I liked Jerusalem artichokes and ate a whole lot of them, I got gas. But that's a common problem with Jerusalem artichokes, and independent of whether you've eaten them before.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:18 PM
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Post-infancy lactose intolerance is most common in east Asia. It is somewhat common in west Africa, the Middle East, Greece, and Italy. It is rare in northern Europe. This is according to the link below. This sort of kind of vaguely correlates with what some people think of as whiteness:

https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/la...nce#statistics
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:19 PM
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Vaguely. But India is full of very dark-skinned people who are lactose tolerant as adults.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:20 PM
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One New World crop that often needs special preparation is cassava, aka manioc or tapioca. The root comes in "sweet" and bitter varieties, with the latter containing potentially toxic levels of cyanide-producing compounds and requiring special preparation in order to be safe to eat. However, the roots are equally toxic to anyone, and Old World peoples were not especially susceptible to them. Spanish colonists sometimes complained that cassava bread gave them digestive problems, but this could have been due to poor preparation or other issues. Today the crop is used widely throughout the tropics, including Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:28 PM
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The French philosopher Voltaire was an early proponent for cultivating potatoes in Europe (and influenced his friend/sometimes enemy Frederic the Great, who propagated the potato in Prussia and thus changed German cuisine forever), but at least there seems to have been a reputation of the potato for being hard to digest. I remember a documentary citing Voltaire in that context (from memory) "The potato might be hard to digest, but what are some winds in the guts of some peasants compared to a safe nutrition?" Sorry, no cite, I didn't find it online.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:29 PM
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What part of the tomato plant is poisonous?
Anything green, other than the green tomato fruit. So... stems and leaves.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:29 PM
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Please provide a cite for the claim that “milking populations have tended to be white “.

As per my reading the cow was first domesticated in the Middle East.

In India, many people are vegetarian and milk is considered to be vegetarian and consumed by much of the population, old and young. If I remember correctly cattle was reared in the Indus Valley civilization circa 3300 BC.
They are related closely enough to Europeans that in classifications (obsolete, as they all are) that pigeonhole everyone into a limited number of "races", they were often classified as Caucasian. Of course, since race is a construct, how much you are genetically related to someone is not a perfect correlation with what race people classify you as.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:31 PM
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What part of the tomato plant is poisonous?
Anything green, other than the green tomato fruit. So... stems and leaves.

The same applies to potatoes. Anything green has toxin in it.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:34 PM
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This sort of kind of vaguely correlates with what some people think of as whiteness:
Cite please. So you are saying Indian food is not considered Ethnic aka non-white food ?

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Originally Posted by puzzlegal
Vaguely. But India is full of very dark-skinned people who are lactose tolerant as adults.
Cite please.

After US, India is the largest producer of milk. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk...tion_worldwide
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:51 PM
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Please provide a cite for the claim that “milking populations have tended to be white “.

As per my reading the cow was first domesticated in the Middle East.

In India, many people are vegetarian and milk is considered to be vegetarian and consumed by much of the population, old and young. If I remember correctly cattle was reared in the Indus Valley civilization circa 3300 BC.
You do understand that "have tended to be" /= are always, don't you? A lot of people can't seem to grasp this simple fact.

That said, it's true that milking and the domestication of cows is traced back to the Middle East. But the use of fresh milk was minimized there by the high temperatures. To make milk last they either fermented it into yogurt or kefir or cheeses, among others, all of which are low in lactose so high percentages of tolerance in the population wasn't necessary.

Dairying moved north and east and anthropologists have shown it has a high (high is not perfect, remember) correlation with the spread of Indo-European languages. (see this map.) That's why there is a dairying culture in India but not in Africa. The use of fresh milk products increased as temperatures dropped, so that gradients of tolerance can be seen across Europe with the highest percentages of tolerance in Scandinavia and England, who brought their dairy culture to America. The usual explanation involves the need for white skinned peoples to have difficulty getting enough vitamin D in areas of short summers, while the calcium in milk helps with that. (Some dark skinned peoples have high percentages of tolerance, but from specialized situations in local environments.)

If you would like to know more about lactose intolerance, I highly recommend my book, Milk Is Not for Every Body: Living with Lactose Intolerance, a work that a reviewer on Amazon called "too thorough."

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Old 05-23-2020, 03:06 PM
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You do understand that "have tended to be" /= are always, don't you? A lot of people can't seem to grasp this simple fact.
Thank you Exapno Mapcase for the good explanation - makes sense to me. Also want to say that as a person of Indian origin, I’m not sure most Americans (I live in the south) understand that India and Europe has a common history. Forget IE languages, most people (I come across) don’t know that anthropologically many Indians are Caucasian too and Caucasian is not about skin color.

Thanks again

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Old 05-23-2020, 03:09 PM
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am77494, do you not understand the idea of something being approximately correlated with something and yet not precisely correlated with it? This is true of most cases of correlation that you will discover. Look up how correlations are calculated:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c...oefficient.asp
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:22 PM
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... Cite please.

After US, India is the largest producer of milk. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk...tion_worldwide
Well, your cite supports my claim. Seriously, Indian cuisine is full of milk. That would be weird if most Indians couldn't digest lactose.

Here's a cite: "Madhur Jaffrey's An Invitation to Indian Cooking". Quite a lot of the recipes include butter or yogurt.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:37 PM
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Also want to say that as a person of Indian origin, I’m not sure most Americans (I live in the south) understand that India and Europe has a common history. Forget IE languages, most people (I come across) don’t know that anthropologically many Indians are Caucasian too and Caucasian is not about skin color.
You should be aware that while Indian populations have been classed as "Caucasian" in the past, this is not a classification that is currently much used by anthropologists. The population of Indian is a very complex mixture. Some populations, especially in the north, are more closed related to Europeans, while others, especially in the south, show links to Austronesians.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:38 PM
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Well, your cite supports my claim. Seriously, Indian cuisine is full of milk. That would be weird if most Indians couldn't digest lactose.

Here's a cite: "Madhur Jaffrey's An Invitation to Indian Cooking". Quite a lot of the recipes include butter or yogurt.
Butter is virtually lactose-free. Old-fashioned yogurt (not the modern fortified and sweetened American stuff) is quite low in lactose. Used in moderate quantities, neither would bother someone unless they are exceptionally lactose intolerant.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:55 PM
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Well, your cite supports my claim. Seriously, Indian cuisine is full of milk. That would be weird if most Indians couldn't digest lactose.

Here's a cite: "Madhur Jaffrey's An Invitation to Indian Cooking". Quite a lot of the recipes include butter or yogurt.
Puzzlegal - I misread your post. Specifically read tolerant as intolerant. My apologies.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:18 PM
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You should be aware that while Indian populations have been classed as "Caucasian" in the past, this is not a classification that is currently much used by anthropologists. The population of Indian is a very complex mixture. Some populations, especially in the north, are more closed related to Europeans, while others, especially in the south, show links to Austronesians.
I am aware and hence I specifically said in my post “many Indians” not all Indians. Not all Europeans are Caucasian and agree that the term is outdated. But if you use the term, be sure to understand that it doesn’t mean white.

Quote:
Some populations, especially in the north, are more closed related to Europeans,...
<Bolding mine>

I am not sure there is a study on “some” or “majority” and I think that’s a matter of opinion . North India is pretty big and holds significant population percentage of India.

Here is a study that cites the different states with Indo-European ancestry and it has almost all of the big population states: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art.../#!po=0.833333
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:25 PM
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Butter is virtually lactose-free. Old-fashioned yogurt (not the modern fortified and sweetened American stuff) is quite low in lactose. Used in moderate quantities, neither would bother someone unless they are exceptionally lactose intolerant.
My daughter has trouble with yogurt. Maybe it's not old-fashioned enough? And I'd been claiming butter was low in lactose until a lactose intolerant friend said she couldn't eat it. I looked up the numbers and they were higher than I would have expected.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:21 PM
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I'm not sure this is a thing. Eating something poisonous, sure. Eating a potato or corn for the first time? It's not like we need special bugs for digesting them.
From here:

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The combination of species that make up our gut microbiomes is strongly influenced by our diets, and so people from different parts of the world tend to have different bacteria. Western guts commonly contain lots of Bacteroides species, which are good at digesting animal fats and proteins. The guts of people with non-Western diets rich in plants tend to be dominated by Prevotella species, which are good at digesting plant fibre.
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Gut microbiome composition depends on the geographic origin of populations. Variations in a trade-off of Prevotella, the representation of the urease gene, and the representation of genes encoding glutamate synthase/degradation or other enzymes involved in amino acids degradation or vitamin biosynthesis show significant differences between populations from the US, Malawi or Amerindian origin.[38]

The US population has a high representation of enzymes encoding the degradation of glutamine and enzymes involved in vitamin and lipoic acid biosynthesis; whereas Malawi and Amerindian populations have a high representation of enzymes encoding glutamate synthase and they also have an overrepresentation of α-amylase in their microbiomes. As the US population has a diet richer in fats than Amerindian or Malawian populations which have a corn-rich diet, the diet is probably the main determinant of the gut bacterial composition.[38]

Further studies have indicated a large difference in the composition of microbiota between European and rural African children. The fecal bacteria of children from Florence were compared to that of children from the small rural village of Boulpon in Burkina Faso. The diet of a typical child living in this village is largely lacking in fats and animal proteins and rich in polysaccharides and plant proteins. The fecal bacteria of European children were dominated by Firmicutes and showed a marked reduction in biodiversity, while the fecal bacteria of the Boulpon children was dominated by Bacteroidetes. The increased biodiversity and different composition of gut flora in African populations may aid in the digestion of normally indigestible plant polysaccharides and also may result in a reduced incidence of non-infectious colonic diseases.[46]
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:10 PM
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My daughter has trouble with yogurt. Maybe it's not old-fashioned enough? And I'd been claiming butter was low in lactose until a lactose intolerant friend said she couldn't eat it. I looked up the numbers and they were higher than I would have expected.
Several possibilities. Some people are so extremely sensitive that they can't tolerate any lactose. Some American yogurts add additional milk products after fermentation to create a sweeter result. Some people think they are being affected by the lactose when they really have a different problem, like IBS. Some people may possibly be intolerant to milk fat, which has never been proven but also never ruled out.

I'm not sure what you mean by butter having higher lactose numbers than you expected. Butter is normally less than 1% lactose. And you would normally never have more than a small amount of butter in any serving. It's hard to imagine having more than a fraction of a gram of lactose from butter in any dish.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:49 PM
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My daughter has no problem with butter, but she does with yogurt. I've bought lactose-free yogurt for her, which she likes. I forget the details of the other person.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:54 PM
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Having intestinal stress when you shift from eating mostly plants to mostly animals, or from low fat to high fat seems normal. That's completely different from having intestinal distress from eating a different species of plant or animal than you are used to. If you start eating tomatoes instead of apricot and melon, say, or if you eat llama instead of cow and sheep.

As I mentioned above, anecdotally. I try to eat new plants and animals when I travel. I've tried a lot of new foods that way. I rarely get traveler's tummy, (only once) and I'm pretty sure it's not associated with eating novel foods.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
....As I mentioned above, anecdotally. I try to eat new plants and animals when I travel. I've tried a lot of new foods that way. I rarely get traveler's tummy, (only once) and I'm pretty sure it's not associated with eating novel foods.
Right, same here and most people that I’ve encountered from around the world are the same way. But was it the same a few centuries ago? This is why I asked if there is a historical record of any widespread issues, and if we’ve evolved as a species to not have such issues any more.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:51 PM
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Everyone has a different mix of gut bacteria. If you introduce something new to your diet, your flora and fauna may have a hard time adapting.
This is one of the causes of traveler's diarrhea.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:04 PM
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Cite please. So you are saying Indian food is not considered Ethnic aka non-white food ?


Cite please.

After US, India is the largest producer of milk. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk...tion_worldwide
That they have 3 times our population isn't surprising, and that chart also said that they produce almost as much buffalo milk as they do cow's milk.

Mare's milk is also a popular item in central Asia (Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and parts of Russia) and is often made into a fermented product called koumiss, which I understand is an acquired taste. Several years ago, there was a You Tube video that went viral of two young Mongolian women, in Western clothing, milking a horse, and when they're finished, the colt came by to nurse. I can't find it now, but there are quite a few videos of people doing this (and "milking" stallions as well!).
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut View Post
But was it the same a few centuries ago? This is why I asked if there is a historical record of any widespread issues, and if we’ve evolved as a species to not have such issues any more.
I worked on a Smithsonian exhibition for the Columbus Quincentenary in 1992 called "Seeds of Change" on the plants and animals exchanged between the Old and New Worlds after Columbus's voyages, and did very extensive reading on the subject. I have never heard of any such issues. But there were never any such issues in the first place; we haven't "evolved" so we don't have them any more.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:37 AM
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This is one of the causes of traveler's diarrhea.
If the"something new" is bacteria. A tomato isn't going to do it.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:00 AM
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Yeah, evolution works very slowly. If we've evolved since 500 years ago it's that people who are most susceptible to some diseases had a few fewer descendants. We haven't evolved to digest tomatoes.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:00 PM
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I don't know about foods but apparently chocolate caused huge scandals. I'm not sure I can find the cite in 2 minutes. From Eduardo Galeano's 3-volume Memory of Fire, the early Spanish colonists in the Americas were crazed for hot chocolate even during church services. The ladies especially. Had me clutchin my pearls. Wait! here it is:

Quote:
1628: Chiapas
Chocolate and the Bishop

…Until recently, the ladies of this city would go to Mass with a retinue of pages and maids who, in addition to carrying the velvet hassock, brought along a brazier, boiler, and cup to prepare chocolate. Having delicate stomachs, the ladies couldn’t endure the ordeal of a prayer service without the hot elixir, still less a High Mass. So it was, until Bishop Bernardo de Salazar decided to ban the custom because of all the confusion and hubbub it caused it in the church.

The ladies took revenge. One morning the bishop turned up dead in his office. At his feet, broken in pieces, the cup of chocolate that someone had served him.
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