Who is lactose (in)tolerant on Golarion?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


What races (and ethnicities in case of human) are capable as consuming milk and cheese?

Dwarves of Golarion says that dwarves harvest milk and consume cheese as a staple. Elves of Golarion says Cheya Dumplings, a magic elf food, use milk in their dough. Halflings of Golarion mentions Halflings cooking with milk, but that's in reference to making it for a primarily human population. Gnomes and orcs have nothing mentioned in their books.

For human ethnicities, there's ample mentions of dairy for Taldane/Chelaxians. Vudrani are listed as consuming dairy in ISWG, Tian-Las consume milk in DEG, Varisians are willing to steal milk in ISR.

I'd expect Garundi, Tians aside from Tian-Las (and maybe Tian-Mins) to lack lactose tolerance, but have no evidence of this beyond real world parallels. I'd find it weird if non-mammals (Kobold, Nagaji) were lactose tolerant.

Anything I missed? Any devs willing to comment? Also: I think "milky white" in books I checked outnumbers references to actual milk.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Being lactose-intolerant myself, I'm a bit confused by the premise.

It's not a species thing. Technically all of us are lactose-intolerant, but it's a question of degree. Some people produce less lactase naturally, permitting them to digest less lactose than other people can. But "more" does not indicate "excessive". A non-lactose-intolerant person can be overloaded.

So, in general, I'm not following the idea that any particular species on Golarion would be - as a rule - especially sensitive to lactose. It's almost like asking "which species are left-handed?" It's an individual-level thing.


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It's almost certainly just a function of "whose ancestors relied on cattle as a food source, and whose ancestors didn't" on Golarion much as it is IRL.

Which is sort of a function of "where you're from" if you have a short growing season, or you live at a high altitude, or a dry place where agriculture is difficult then various ruminants and their byproducts are going to be a bigger part of your diet.


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In a world of fantasy and magic, I don't want anyone to suffer for enjoying a nice cheese.


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Anguish wrote:

Being lactose-intolerant myself, I'm a bit confused by the premise.

It's not a species thing. Technically all of us are lactose-intolerant, but it's a question of degree. Some people produce less lactase naturally, permitting them to digest less lactose than other people can. But "more" does not indicate "excessive". A non-lactose-intolerant person can be overloaded.

So, in general, I'm not following the idea that any particular species on Golarion would be - as a rule - especially sensitive to lactose. It's almost like asking "which species are left-handed?" It's an individual-level thing.

I don't know about lactose or anything, but humans are actually highly abnormal in the fact that the majority of us are right-hand dominant. Most other species are ambidextrous, and of those that aren't, most of those are fairly evenly divided between left and right dominance.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Anguish wrote:

Being lactose-intolerant myself, I'm a bit confused by the premise.

It's not a species thing. Technically all of us are lactose-intolerant, but it's a question of degree. Some people produce less lactase naturally, permitting them to digest less lactose than other people can. But "more" does not indicate "excessive". A non-lactose-intolerant person can be overloaded.

So, in general, I'm not following the idea that any particular species on Golarion would be - as a rule - especially sensitive to lactose. It's almost like asking "which species are left-handed?" It's an individual-level thing.

I don't know about lactose or anything, but humans are actually highly abnormal in the fact that the majority of us are right-hand dominant. Most other species are ambidextrous, and of those that aren't, most of those are fairly evenly divided between left and right dominance.

Most likely due to the cultural stigma of left handed = sinister and thus literally having children who are left handed beaten until they are "right handed" for the longest time, a mindset and practice still ongoing in a lot of places unfortunately.


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Rysky wrote:
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Anguish wrote:

Being lactose-intolerant myself, I'm a bit confused by the premise.

It's not a species thing. Technically all of us are lactose-intolerant, but it's a question of degree. Some people produce less lactase naturally, permitting them to digest less lactose than other people can. But "more" does not indicate "excessive". A non-lactose-intolerant person can be overloaded.

So, in general, I'm not following the idea that any particular species on Golarion would be - as a rule - especially sensitive to lactose. It's almost like asking "which species are left-handed?" It's an individual-level thing.

I don't know about lactose or anything, but humans are actually highly abnormal in the fact that the majority of us are right-hand dominant. Most other species are ambidextrous, and of those that aren't, most of those are fairly evenly divided between left and right dominance.
Most likely due to the cultural stigma of left handed = sinister and thus literally having children who are left handed beaten until they are "right handed" for the longest time, a mindset and practice still ongoing in a lot of places unfortunately.

While that is an unfortunate stigma, most research shows that it's largely a fluke of genetics due to how our brains evolved. For whatever reason, the side of our brain that processes language almost universally controls which hand is our dominant. It's actually super interesting, but I don't want to derail the thread overmuch.


SOLDIER-1st wrote:
...I don't want to derail the thread overmuch.

Can you at least drop a few links? This sounds fascinating, as a leftie.


Albatoonoe wrote:
In a world of fantasy and magic, I don't want anyone to suffer for enjoying a nice cheese.

Technically, it is possible -- at least for some people -- to get away with eating lactose even while technically lactose-intolerant, by just getting your intestinal microorganism population to take up the slack -- same as with some other saccharides not digestible with our own enzymes. You don't have to suffer for enjoying a nice cheese if you don't mind cutting the cheese.

Rysky wrote:
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Anguish wrote:

Being lactose-intolerant myself, I'm a bit confused by the premise.

{. . .} It's almost like asking "which species are left-handed?" It's an individual-level thing.

I don't know about lactose or anything, but humans are actually highly abnormal in the fact that the majority of us are right-hand dominant. Most other species are ambidextrous, and of those that aren't, most of those are fairly evenly divided between left and right dominance.
Most likely due to the cultural stigma of left handed = sinister and thus literally having children who are left handed beaten until they are "right handed" for the longest time, a mindset and practice still ongoing in a lot of places unfortunately.

I felt the echo of that sting myself. My mother wouldn't accept the idea of me being not fully one-handed or the other (of course with a huge preference for right-handed) when I was trying to compensate for right-handedness to try to keep from becoming too asymmetrical, as well as to have a bit of backup in case something bad happened to my right hand.


Rysky wrote:
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Anguish wrote:

Being lactose-intolerant myself, I'm a bit confused by the premise.

It's not a species thing. Technically all of us are lactose-intolerant, but it's a question of degree. Some people produce less lactase naturally, permitting them to digest less lactose than other people can. But "more" does not indicate "excessive". A non-lactose-intolerant person can be overloaded.

So, in general, I'm not following the idea that any particular species on Golarion would be - as a rule - especially sensitive to lactose. It's almost like asking "which species are left-handed?" It's an individual-level thing.

I don't know about lactose or anything, but humans are actually highly abnormal in the fact that the majority of us are right-hand dominant. Most other species are ambidextrous, and of those that aren't, most of those are fairly evenly divided between left and right dominance.
Most likely due to the cultural stigma of left handed = sinister and thus literally having children who are left handed beaten until they are "right handed" for the longest time, a mindset and practice still ongoing in a lot of places unfortunately.

I suspect that stigma is itself a result of left handedness being relatively rare, not the other way around. I believe handedness is distributed essentially the same across populations, which strongly suggests it's not the result of cultural influences - certainly not anything as direct and recent as association with a Latin word.


^Yes, but stigma against left-handedness seems to be extremely widespread (including in nations having no Latin heritage), so it could still be cultural influence. Depending upon how far back this goes, it could be cultural AND genetic -- extremely stigmatized people often have trouble reproducing and surviving, so genes for left-handedness might have started out far back in prehistory being only slightly under parity in the population, and have since then been selected against until they became quite rare. (Note that stigmas and within-species discrimination go back well before Humans. All the way back into the microbial world, in fact -- "You don't have our plasmid? Accept this plasmid as your savior, or die.")


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Insapateh wrote:
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
...I don't want to derail the thread overmuch.
Can you at least drop a few links? This sounds fascinating, as a leftie.

Dreaming, Handedness, and Sleep Architecture: Interhemispheric Mechanisms

Handedness, language areas and neuropsychiatric diseases: insights from brain imaging and genetics

What causes some people to be left-handed, and why are fewer people left-handed than right-handed?

Just a few. You can also look through the references on the wiki page for Handedness

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