11 March 2010

Dairy Queens

There was a huge brouhaha on Crackbook yesterday. It was a gigantic cat fight with women screaming at one another in all caps and accusations of EWWWW!! and GROSS!! and DISGUSTING!!

OK. Maybe it was just actually one or two ladies and there wasn't really a cat fight and the caps lock key was surprisingly silent and maybe I was the only one being disgusting and the other commenters were polite. Sue me.

A friend of mine posted the following:

just heard that there is a restaurant in New York that is serving breast milk cheese. Ummmm...... Uhhhhh....... Seriously!??!?! I'm thinking, NO THANK YOU!!!!

(Dear Karen, Don't shoot me. Kthanxbai!)

I proceeded to reveal, in the comments of Karen's status message, that I once made two batches of blueberry muffins, one with regular cow's milk and one with breast milk I had leftover in the freezer after weaning Bubba and Miss-Miss. And my mom, the Ty-man, and I ate the breast milk muffins. And that I had also tasted my own breast milk. And I once wondered if husbands, when participating in a blind breast milk taste test, could pick out their wife's breast milk amongst the breast milk samples from the wives of their friends.

(That last bit? Came to me late one night. I was bleary-eyed, watching HSN at 3 AM with the J-man latched on. Needless to say, my mind wasn't all there.)

What I'm trying to say is that my mother, my husband, and I survived the consumption of breast milk muffins. We even determined that the breast milk muffins tasted sweeter and were softer than the cow's milk muffins.

And after reading the responses to my admission, I started to wonder.

What is it about anyone over the age of 1 consuming human milk that makes all of us generally freak out and run screaming for the hills?

I really want to know what it is about this that makes us squeamish. Is it the vague sense of cannibalism? Is it that by consuming breast milk, we take away the sexual nature of womens' breasts and acknowledge that they are, fundamentally, mammary glands there to serve a function of nutrition? Or is it the image of women, attached to milking machines, being milked for profit and feeding the masses rather than their own children?

Honestly, we are made to digest human milk much more easily than cow/goat/whatever-animal-you-choose milk and, speaking from experience, human milk tastes rather mild and sweet. Whatever Mama eats is the flavor of the milk. So, rather than grassy/hay-flavored milk, wouldn't you prefer to have PB&J/Godiva chocolate-flavored milk? I would. I suppose I'm in the minority because the thought of consuming a human milk product doesn't disgust me at all.

The Ty-man put it succinctly when, at dinner last night, he posited, How do those same people feel about swallowing?

Well put, Ty-man. Well put.

So, what say all of you? Is drinking breast milk gross or what's the big deal? Would ejaculate be a better protein resource and should we hook men up to...

Oh, Lordy. I went too far, didn't I?

Ignore that last question and answer the first.

Thanks.

19 comments:

Annie said...

You.crack.me.up. When in Cameroon, the women were appalled at what western women do to themselves in the name of "beauty" and "sex appeal". Breasts are for feeding babies. I came home for the first time when Luke was 15 months. Still nursing him 3-5 times a day. Without covering. In public - restaurants, malls. Even.CHURCH. Sin of all sins, I was married to a pastor. People acted like I was Jezebel or some equally vile harlot putting my breasts on public display for all those fine Christians to stare at. Excuse me, they were the ones staring, and most people didn't realize what was going on til it was over. It was even worse 2 years later, when Tim was in the call process and Sophie was 19 months old and still nursing. Want to see church members squirm? Breastfeed a toddler (uncovered) during a call committee interview.

Your 3 am musings aren't so rare. Tracey (Suppa-Todd) and I have had these conversations many times about the "bizarre" things that can and are done with breastmilk. You're not alone!

I'm continually amazed at how similar our thought processes are. We really should get together sometime. It's been way too long!

Patois said...

My reaction to it was pretty much so long as no one was asking for me to be a free range milk machine, whatever. With my first child, I called myself the Mommy Cow. A relative made a point of saying how disgusting that moniker was. I punched her in the gut.

No, not really. But I wanted to; however, the kid was latched onto me so I was kind of restrained.

Finn said...

I gotta say, the thought of breastmilk cheese gives me the same feeling I get when someone scratches their nails on a chalkboard. *shudders*

Problem is, I cannot tell you why. It's completely illogical, but there it is.

Ren said...

For me, the discomfort seems about the same as drinking fresh cow milk. I wonder how I'd feel if I were accustomed to drinking fresh cow milk.

hello haha narf said...

if you didn't tell me what it was human milk i'd probably love it. all cheese makes me happy. you could tell me after i have already consumed the cheese and i'd be fine with it. there are plenty of foods that i devour without knowing that they contain stuff i wouldn't normally eat. somehow knowing afterward doesn't bother me.

but i don't like milk of any kind so i won't be bellying up to a breast milk bar any time in the near future.

Ashlie- Mommycosm said...

Hmm. My initial reaction is yuck. But I don't drink regular cow's milk, either. I guess if it was MY milk, I would try it, but I don't want to try some random woman's milk. If that makes any sense. Which I guess it doesn't because I don't ask to see the cow. Right?

And, for the record, NOT a fan of swallowing either. Hey, YOU went there.

shiny said...

Interesting stuff...

There was a great television series on the CBC about a year and a half ago called "jPod." It was based loosely on Douglas Coupland's novel of the same name, and focused on an eclectic group of video game coders who worked together in Vancouver. One of the characters, a guy who legally changed his name to John Doe, grew up on a hippie, radical lesbian commune with his mother at the helm. In an episode where they talk about developing the perfect sweetener for a low-calorie cola, they devise a secret formula which uses breast milk. While everyone else seemed to be skeeved by this, it simply didn't seem to bother me nearly as much. Not sure why...

The scene where they make one of the commune's member's placenta into a lasagna, however? That was a bit much for me...

Despite these two plot points, it really was a wonderful series. promise.

sybil law said...

I am all for swallowing!
I think it's the cheese remark, really, that makes me all squeamish.Not necessarily the breast milk part, but the breast milk CHEESE part. Sounds... yeasty. Not appetizing. I don't know. :P

My word is coxicki - hahahaha.

MelissaInk said...

I don't think MY breastmilk is gross. I don't think my friends' breastmilk is gross. I can't say I'd want to drink a stranger's breastmilk. BUT, I guess all the cows are strangers.

I don't like the idea of people profiting off of breastmilk (unless it's the woman who is pumping the milk).

I think breasts are for feeding babies. I think our society has a demented relationship with breasts and breastfeeding. I think we're coming out of it, but there's still a lot of bad stigma around it (because people are ignorant assholes).

Not Afraid To Use It said...

A friend of mine ran out of milk for her coffee one morning, so used her breast milk that she had stashed in the fridge for the next feeding. I always thought she was cool, but that brought her to a whole new level for me.

Not Afraid To Use It said...

Okay, back to say that you HAVE to go and read some of the comments! Not the ones saying how gross it is, but all the suggestions for other types of food. I am crying from the laughter.

Shelli said...

Nope. Couldn't do it knowingly. Don't know why, just couldn't.

Muskrat said...

i don't like to know much about the stuff i eat. i'm weird like that.

so, i don't feel comfortable answering any of the questions this post poses!

Employee No. 3699 said...

I'm laughing at thought of a bunch of women hooked up to mechanical breast pumps. You have to admit it would be a pretty easy job; I mean you could watch tv, read a book, paint your nails...all while 'working'. Of course it would just be a part time job. Can't fathom how you'd be able to work 9 to 5:00!

Molly's Mom said...

How in the world did I miss this post before?!

I can't say that I made any baked goods with my milk, but then again, I didn't have a ton in the freezer left over, either. Would I have tried it? Probably not...the thought skeeves me out, even though I really don't know why.

Gia's Spot said...

What a great post! Hysterical! I wish someone would do a viable study on why we will drink another animals milk but think a woman's is gross, disgusting, etc. Probably something a guy once said, or because guys think they are actually sex toys and not a form of nutrition!!

Avitable said...

As long as it's gone through the same sanitizing process as cow milk, I'm all for it.

Momisodes said...

This post has me giggling :)

I have to say that I never tasted my own milk with my daughter, but my guess is that it was pretty darn close to chocolate milk!

Not Afraid To Use It said...

I just saw this tonight and had to share it with you.
http://dailyshite.com/2010/03/girl-identifies-star-wars-figures-using-just-her-mouth/