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Dietribes: Milk It for All It's Worth

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"¢ Milk must do a body good since it's the first thing any of us drink! But let's learn more about this dairy delight by which we also get cream, butter, yogurt, kefir, ice cream, and most especially, cheese.

"¢ Milk's history mixes with alcohol on more than one occasion. Louis Pasteur was helping students attempt to ferment beetroot when he discovered the process that would become known as "pasteurizing," or sterilizing substances.

"¢ But why choose between milk and beer when you can have both as Bilk or in a White Russian, a la The Big Lebowski?

"¢Â Milk can also be used as a substitute for alcohol such as in celebration - just ask nay NASCAR fan! Winners of the Indy 500 have a tradition of drinking milk after their victory, a practice that has gone on since 1956.

Sports Illustrated even ranked milk #1 as the sports world coolest and healthiest prize.

"¢ Got Milk? The slogan started in 1993 and marketers began featuring celebrities in the print campaign. Boasting 90% awareness in the United States, the pithy trademark has been licensed out to dolls and toys and been the brunt of many a well-recognized parody.

"¢ When the price of glass went up, paper milk cartons were in high demand. John Van Wormer, a toy manufacturer, applied for a milk carton patent in 1915, but the familiar tetrahedral shape was developed in the 1940s. The idea was to use the least amount of packaging possible, and lead to the ubiquitous brick-shaped carton of today with the gabled tops.

"¢ I don't know about you guys, but at my grade school we had a lunch card and ... a milk card! Milk is certainly no stranger to the school cafeteria - President Truman signed the National School Lunch into law in 1946, which included a half pint of milk as a required staple.

"¢ In recent years, efforts have been made to replace the original whole milk requirements with 1% or skim. It wasn't until 1988 that low fat and skim milk exceeded the sales of whole milk.

Etan Patz was the first missing child featured on a milk carton, a practice which has since mostly been discontinued as such and updated to more tech-saavy modes of display.

"¢ Cow's milk, sheep's milk, goat milk yes, but rat milk? Dog milk? And even more extreme examples, no thank you!

"¢ Don't like milk, or suffering from lactose intolerance? Try (my favorite alternative) soy milk! Made from a stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein, it is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water. Soy milk contains about the same proportion of protein as cow's milk and most include a calcium boost.

How do you Flossers take your milk? With a bit of chocolate or with your tea? What about as a substitute for other liquids?

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.

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Big Questions
How Long Could a Person Survive With an Unlimited Supply of Water, But No Food at All?
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How long could a person survive if he had unlimited supply of water, but no food at all?

Richard Lee Fulgham:

I happen to know the answer because I have studied starvation, its course, and its utility in committing a painless suicide. (No, I’m not suicidal.)

A healthy human being can live approximately 45 to 65 days without food of any kind, so long as he or she keeps hydrated.

You could survive without any severe symptoms [for] about 30 to 35 days, but after that you would probably experience skin rashes, diarrhea, and of course substantial weight loss.

The body—as you must know—begins eating itself, beginning with adipose tissue (i.e. fat) and next the muscle tissue.

Google Mahatma Gandhi, who starved himself almost to death during 14 voluntary hunger strikes to bring attention to India’s independence movement.

Strangely, there is much evidence that starvation is a painless way to die. In fact, you experience a wonderful euphoria when the body realizes it is about to die. Whether this is a divine gift or merely secretions of the brain is not known.

Of course, the picture is not so pretty for all reports. Some victims of starvation have experienced extreme irritability, unbearably itchy skin rashes, unceasing diarrhea, painful swallowing, and edema.

In most cases, death comes when the organs begin to shut down after six to nine weeks. Usually the heart simply stops.

(Here is a detailed medical report of the longest known fast: 382 days.)

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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Why Haven't We Cured Cancer Yet?
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Walkathons, fundraisers, and ribbon-shaped bumper stickers raise research dollars and boost spirits, but cancer—the dreaded disease that affects more than 14 million people and their families at any given time—still remains bereft of a cure.

Why? For starters, cancer isn't just one disease—it's more than 100 of them, with different causes. This makes it impossible to treat each one using a one-size-fits-all method. Secondly, scientists use lab-grown cell lines cultivated from human tumors to develop cancer therapies. Living masses are far more complex, so potential treatments that show promise in lab experiments often don't work on cancer patients. As for the tumors themselves, they're prone to tiny genetic mutations, so just one growth might contain multiple types of cancer cells, and even unique sub-clones of tumors. These distinct entities might not respond the same way, or at all, to the same drug.

These are just a few of the challenges that cancer researchers face—but the good news is that they're working to beat all of them, as this TED-Ed video explains below.


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