Monday we ate at a Japanese Restaurant, within walking distance of our house. It’s taken me years to interest David in Asian food, so this was a major accomplishment. And, while I ordered my favorite vegetable tempura, he ordered the Salmon Sushi tray, which surprised us both. I’d show you photos but we ate it all up.
In the past year, I’ve learned to make several Asian dishes whose prototypes originate in India (Chicken Masala), Thailand (Pad Thai) and Japan (various stir fry). And I make them following a recipes I obtained from Diabetes sources.
I originally learned how to cook Asian dishes because my first husband was a Marine with two tours of duty in Japan, one aboard a troop ship. He grew to love the people and the foods he found in the places he visited. I think he found a warm reception because he was the most non-racist Southerner I ever met. He was mixed-race himself, and the bone structure of his face was very similar to that of many Okinawans.
I was thinking about this lately, because I have been reading several books that describe genetic flows among the world’s populations: Britain Begins by Barry Cunliff; Origins of the British by Stephen Oppenheimer; Red, The Story of Red Hair; by Jacky Corliss Harvey; and most recently A Troublesome Inheritance by Nicholas Wade.
Of course, being mostly if not 100 percent northern European, I am interested in genes from the tribes that once inhabited that area. Thus I devour anything I can find on this subject. Well, not anything. I read a variety of sources, however. For example, Wade, who was a New York Times Science Writer for many years, has been writing some not politically correct books lately.
Basically, Wade asks, why can’t scientists discuss race as a factor in human behavior? Good question. For one thing, he doesn’t agree that race is a social construct. He says leftist and Marxists, following in the footsteps of Franz Boas, the American anthropologist, took up this notion of race as a social construct in response to the horrible ideology of the Social Darwinists.
Even so, he suggests, one ideology doesn’t justify another. And neither is science. Wade provides a good summary of genetic research that is discovering all kinds of connections between race (based on self-identification) and various alleles such as lactose tolerance.
He suggests that one-size fits all approach to medical research or any other research doesn’t work, as scientists have learned in recent years with regard to studies that exclusively focused on white males. For years, white men were the test group for most research. Things began to change in the 1970s, when scientists included various long-term panels for women in the study of heart disease and other ailments.
Today most medical studies include information about whites, blacks, people of Asian extraction and Hispanic Origin. However, perhaps the categories are too crude? Wade thinks ethnicity is the key, if not race. He says repeatedly that biology is only part of the story, cultural differences such as diet are also important. But biology is to some extent destiny.
Of course there is more to this controversial book which reviewers tend to give one or five stars. Read it and judge for yourself. I did, every single word.