Tag Archives: natural selection

Lactofree cream and National approaches to lactose intolerance

In Finland, I discovered that when a third of the population is lactose intolerant, the state-run dairy company makes lactose-free EVERYTHING. Lactose free milk, cream, butter, yoghurt, cream cheese, several types of hard cheese and more. Apparently citizens can even get a grant to cover the additional cost of the lactose free varieties!

It was *amazing*. In the UK, where all we have is the premium Lactofree brand doing milk, and now yoghurt, cream cheese, and a slightly underwhelming hard cheese… well, a world of a difference.

BUT, on my return to the UK, I discovered… Lactofree launched cream this month! Hurrah!

And also… apparently there’s been a new finding about food intolerant people.

It is interesting that peoples’ anthropological origins tie into their selective advantage and therefore their evolutionary present. That is to say, if your ancestors herded dairy animals, odds are you had a better chance of surviving if you weren’t lactose intolerant and therefore you probably won’t be today. Of course, lactose intolerance is more of an irritant than a true selective disadvantage (although it can be harder to find a mate if you are excessively flatulent) so maybe the logic doesn’t quite apply.

With that in mind, it’s interesting that the Danes didn’t have nearly as much lactose free stuff around, underlining the fact that despite the fact they are both Nordic nations, the ancestry of the Finns is very different to the Scandinavians. Even more bizarrely, Lactofree is made by a Danish company – Arla – which I discovered when writing this post!