Archives for posts with tag: breast milk



My first child’s first food, as a newborn, was donated breast milk, and I’ll always be grateful she had such a great first start. Huge gratitude to that generous woman in the ” breastfeeding room” of the hospital; she sat there pumping her milk into little plastic bottles that went into the fridge there for the use of whoever needed it.  It took me a couple of weeks to get my proper flow going.

This is a thrilling story, the first Human Baby Milk Bank in North India.

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First, should you be experiencing this Deep-Winter Blue-Mood, here’s a little pep-talk of a dance number.  You are a star! Everybody is one!

Second:  I have a habit of accumulating internet links to explore further, but they are beginning to want to break free of my private files. So, though eventually I may revisit them, I’m just going to post them here, now, for readers’ scintillation.

A piece called Spice Tile on the BRILLIANT blog Edible Geographies about an art exhibition at the Victoria and Albert in London until the 21st of April– hope I can get there to see it.

A Love Letter to Nigella Sativa, what I know as Black Onion Seeds.

And creative ways to use Chia Seeds.

And third in this Seed Triumvirate, a recipe for Crackers with Dock Seed, in celebration of the undercelibrated Dock.

Trends in Home-Prepared Pet Food — and How to Make Your Own Cat Food.

A Great List of UK Seed Companies

From Mother’s Gut to Milk, a very informative article on the microbiology of breast milk on the ever-fascinating blog Hella Delicious

and on the subject of breast milk, here’s an artist’s project making cheese from human breast milk in order to raise questions about food systems and ethics…

An inspiring article about Growing Saffron in Utah.

Asian Pear Trees for your garden (a fruit I adore)

A great how-to for sprouting beautiful sprouts.

A piece I love from Permaculture Magazine about traditional methods of drying chestnuts.  (I LOVE chestnuts, so more coming on baking with chestnut flour definitely!)   And another on Reusing Coffee Grounds.

An interesting article called Why Skipping is a Necessary Evil  (though I’d never use the word “evil”) that puts people’s personal hunger in a broad political context.

Remembering the Morecombe Cockle Pickers and their families.

What I thought was a good Real Food Plan for the Broke — the author aiming for each healthful meal to be $.95 per person per meal;  you can compare and contrast Jack Monroe’s approach to budgeting

A book on Home Aquaponics (combination aquaculture [growing fish] and hydroponics {veg grown in water not soil] ) which interests me very much but I haven’t got a kindle…

On Wasabi in Britain in a Forest Garden way; and this, a company, celebrating Wasabi as a Brassica 

An interesting, short documentary on The People’s Kitchen — “a place in which people can come to eat, as well as express themselves, find themselves in society.”

and a blatant plug for my friend Sharon Kane’s Gluten -Free bread assundries website and business. She’s a woman who reclaimed her own health and is on an amazing mission to share everything she’s learned!  She is based in Massachusetts, for American readers keen to do some mail-order.

And, lastly for today,  an important plea for seed diversity in the face of this thing we call Climate Change.


Mary is a breastfeeding mother, to state the obvious.  Lots of realistic depictions here.

All over the news: Pope Francis encouraged a woman shy to breastfeed her infant in public to feed that child, there and then.  To feel free and empowered to do it.. “Please give it something to eat.”  Comfort, always, and food, breast-milk so perfect nutritionally, in sweetness, in fats, in taste, in what it delivers immunologically and microbiologically and the nearness of warm loving skin, through which it’s delivered.  Lactation really is a miracle, and very beautiful, and the first food a mother can give her baby, and Slow Food, because a body makes the milk in the time required, and all about “Food Sovereignty” because a woman can decide, in a kind of beautiful dance with Baby, when to feed, how long to feed, how much milk to produce, not intrinsically tied to corporations or regulations or industrial regimes.

I remember the years when I was breastfeeding my babies, even as a non-Christian, feeling a spiritual affinity with Mary and the nursing Baby Jesus.  (And when you’re heaviliy pregnant, it also becomes possiible to deeply imagine the physical travail of riding into Bethlehem on a donkey, and the kind of anxiety that must have accompanied not knowing where one would spend the night.  (No one helped Mary give birth, did they– she did it alone, without a midwife?  I can’t believe I don’t know the answer to this question.)

The breastfeeding Mary powerfully symbolises love, and the addressing of hunger.  This wonderful article discusses how the symbol of the breast predates the centrality of the crucifixion as a symbol and  “the virgin’s nursing breast, the lactating virgin, was the primary symbol of God’s love for humanity…”

I always felt, as a breastfeeding mother, that there was a meanness and cruelty to the judgement that I shouldn’t nurse publicly, forbidding to the infant too, that we should go instead into a toilet or restroom for privacy.  Lactivists across the world are battling for a change in social outlook on this.  Yet– what if issues around breastfeeding became linked with food rights and food sovereignty and all the broad ways we are coming to define them.  I find it really powerful that Pope Francis has made these connections– drawing a wider metaphor about social aspects of food, from a crying baby who wants some boob, without a need to disentangle comfort and hunger — which exist together and can be answered together.

Lots to say really about the industrial food grid and the sacred time before child is on it….  but must go cook dinner for kids now, so will revise later  🙂 …

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