It seems that milk is all the rage these days! Have you been to the dairy section of your local grocer lately? The other day I took a gander down the dairy isle of our local grocer and was shocked at how many types of milk there are. I had no idea almonds had nipples! It used to be that you chose milk based on fat content, nonfat (water) 1% (water with a splash of milk), 2% (water with a shot of milk), whole milk (the good stuff) and if you are lucky to live in a state that allows people to make their own choices about the food they consume you get an extra choice: raw milk (the really good stuff). Then the choices expanded into different animal products: cow milk, goat milk, sheep milk, ect. But food manufacturers didn’t stop there. After all, why leave money on the table? And so now almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, rice milk, even hemp milk are available!
And then there is milk for babies. My Facebook feed is filled with articles and stories fueling the controversy that surrounds feeding our babies. Breast feeding is making headlines with public breast feeding protests being organized around the nation. Breastfeeding in the workplace is a topic being discussed in our nation’s capital! Cities and states are creating breastmilk banks. The merits of breast feeding versus formula feeding are discussed in the board rooms of hospitals and the living rooms of moms groups. The topic of breastfeeding and breastmilk is becoming a topic people feel comfortable openly talking about, and not just with their mothers or doctors, but on the world wide web, at work, in the park. Breastmilk is trending now!
On the one hand I think the buzz that breastfeeding and breastmilk is getting is great. Legislation has been passed that supports working moms’ need for accommodation and new technology is being created to help moms breastfeed (there are now breast pumps that are so small that you can hide them in your bra). But on the other hand I fear we will ruin a very natural, wholesome act by turning it into a money making trend.
Breast feeding is the best example of simple goodness I can think of. In it’s raw form it couldn’t be simpler. No bottles to wash. No parts to remember. I can feed my baby at any time, any where. The most talented engineer of all time made my body with all the parts and ingredients I need to give my baby every nutrient she needs. Chemically, breast milk has what all other milks are trying to recreate, a perfectly balanced milk that is easily digestible.
So, now that this super milk has been rediscovered, what will it become? Will breastmilk become the next trend in milk? Will breast milk cartons line the grocery store shelves right along with almond and hemp milk? It sounds crazy initially, but news headlines are starting to give the theory credence. I mean can a breast milk ice cream named after pop singer be any more trendy? And what about bodybuilders who are using breast milk to pump up their physique and are willing to pay up to $20 an OUNCE? Will breastmilk become the next marketed, liked, shared, trending superfood? And if so, at what cost? Is it possible for our digital, enterprising world to ruin the simple goodness of breastmilk? Is breastmilk destined to become the next “big thing”? And if so, at what costs?