Milk is a fascinating substance that permits explorations into evolutionary theory, cultural attitudes, chemistry of macronutrients and micronutrients, enzymatic breakdown of lactose, biological variation, 'normality' and public health implications. Our module will explore both food processing and digestion using milk as a case study. Participants can perform a common food processing technique (making milk into cheese), and then examine how this and other food processing and treatments affect lactose content. Labs for titrating calcium and separating macronutrients will also be introduced.
We will also discuss other directions classes could go with this theme including: learning about the scientific method (observation, hypothesis testing, analysis), performing sensory analysis, conducting comparative analysis of milk content and looking for life history and environmental factors, conducting interviews on people’s associations with 'milk' and analysis of textual data, hypothesis generation about adaptation and evolution, and arguing a position based on evidence for the role of milk in public health.