Wednesday, May 16, 2007
A recent conversation with some baybs in the lunch room naturally turned to a bayblab favourite topic: lactation. I turns out that the notion that human breast milk is considered 'dairy' is offensive. This lead to the question of what exactly IS considered, and whether human milk is among them. While a weak etymological argument for them can be made, eggs, which are closely associated with dairy, are definitely not (my apologies for confusing one of their opinions on the matter). What about human milk, then? The Wikipedia entry on the subject seems to suggest that some sort of processing or standardization is implied with the word dairy, but I suspect few would argue that raw cow's milk is not dairy. Human milk is a 'foodstuff', but there are no dairies for processing. Or are there? Dairies may not exist, but breastmilk banks certainly do, though in limited number. Seven exist in North America where, after rigorous screening (smokers need not apply) and physician consent, women can donate excess milk which is then pasteurized and sold to families in need (with a proper prescription). All that said, you would be ill-advised to drawn any comparisons between a breast-feeding mother and a dairy cow.