Wednesday, October 5, 2011
A desire for milk products in Laos
When I ask my neighbor if I can bring anything for her from the supermarket, she usually says "Milk". She is a 30 year old Laotion, and the common knowledge tells me that she can not drink milk, since most Asian people are lactose-intolerant. What is true. But does it mean they cannot drink milk? No. Just watch kids - they drink milk and diary products a lot and get fat, but not sick. How ist that possible? First of all: Milk is considered good for health, but also a statement of lifestyle. This is why Asian people want to have it. Although not used to the taste, the demand is so big that some years ago China was buying so much milk from Germany that Germany got a domestic supply problem. What in particular Chinese factories do, is getting the lactose out of the milk. Also, they produce yoghurt what is basically lactose free, ice cream and milk powder. In Vietnam. Vinamilk is one of the biggest companies - it would not be possible if people can't use their products. Also, even if you are lactose intolerant, you probably safe if your daily consumption is less than 100-150 ml. It is usually not life threatening anyway, you just get a intense diarrhea.