28.2.11

Mommy's Sundae


At a time when I knew a lot about breasts and little about breast milk, I was initiated into the world of the new mother and how precious the nursing ritual is. Not in romantic terms, but for the infant’s health and emotional bonding. It was difficult to identify with it at first. We were just out of college and had decided to be part of an NGO; we were handed a camera and so began the journey into the slums to shoot an audio-visual. With all the material, the script had to essentially be a lonely affair and I was handed the material after the brainstorming.

As happens often with me, I became a bit possessive of the subject. Ignorance transformed into seeking and then knowledge. I can still recall the streets, the huts, and the manner in which multinationals had intruded into those hovels with formula milk that the poor and illiterate women did not know how to prepare and would therefore be harmful. Later, I did an article and met women from other economic strata. So, I know that even working women were advised to save their milk to be fed to the baby later.

Now, will you and I be able to let it be whipped up and served in a waffle cone or a cup? I know that it is possible to sell anything, and even the PETA people are happy because we are not guzzling cow’s milk meant for calves. May I then ask why only ice-cream? Why not all dairy products?

I have issues with the name: Baby Gaga. It is obviously capitalising on the pop star, and the advertising is using a look-alike. It only means that this is a gimmick. Its founder Matt O’Connor says: “I'm challenging the preconceptions we have about food, about farming. About ice-cream!”

No. Different cultures use their own ingredients and ‘challenge’ notions. Meats of animals and birds that may seem offensive to some are considered culinary delights to others. How many ants would you need to make a mouth-licking paste to garnish a meal? It’s done. Bird saliva is an edible oddity. Offal is on high table. And there are chilli and garlic flavoured ice creams.

How do you farm women? This does not seem to be to reduce the burden we place on cattle for our milky needs, because only 15 women have signed up and are paid £15 for 10 fluid ounces. One scoop is available for £14.99. It is obviously not the only ingredient, so what is the big deal about it being organic?

There are also a couple of ethical question.

  • These are lactating mothers naturally, so are they denying their own children the milk? Should the market pick up, will women who enter this industry become smart entrepreneurs and use fattening tactics to increase the flow artificially?
  • Curiosity aside, the idea of the breast is a tantalising one. It might well be a new opportunity for voyeurs, especially men. Imagine, they are now within kissing distance of a strange woman’s tits.
    I am not going gaga over this one, although I do love ice-cream. Yeah, popsicles too.

    2 comments:

    1. A sucker's born every minute. I think the world of breasts (and nipples), but have no interest in putting my lips up to this marketing gimmick.

      Haven't "stranger's tits" always been within kissing distance of men, at least in most societies? Money can buy anything. I think I missed the nuance you intended, FZ.

      I can't help but wonder if the mention of loving popsicles wasn't a purposeful phallic reference. I say this all in good fun.

      Thank you for enabled comments again. Not that I comment often but it's empowering as a reader to know I can if I care to.

      The UK is already putting the squeeze on.

      ReplyDelete
    2. Apologies, Dion, don;t know how my reply did not show up...it is in my inbox as follows:

      Hi Dion:

      There was no nuance in "stranger's tits". Money can buy everything, but think about a woman you don't know...the element of the unavailable otherwise. I guess there was some nuance, after all.

      You got me there: Popsicles was a phallic throwaway to 'balance' the picture. And in good fun, too.

      Thank you for the comment regarding enabling comments. I do understand that a person reading might want to comment occasionally. Besides, if I do put up feedback as a post, it just sounds a bit off not to let this space be open, whether or not many do.

      Posted by FV to Cross Connections at 3/1/11 8:14 PM

      ReplyDelete