Alicia Silverstone premastication for baby bear
by Michael dEstries
Categories: Healthy Living, Lifestyle
Tags: .
Photo: The Kind Life

Attention Internet: If you’ve ever swapped spit with someone (aka; French kissing), you’ve done exactly what Alicia Silverstone is doing when she first chews her food for her baby son and then passes it on to him.

He’s not in jeopardy. She’s not crazy. This isn’t something new.

Premastication, the act of chewing food before passing it on to someone else, has been around for as long as the human species has existed. While I haven’t necessarily passed food mouth-to-mouth to my toddlers, I have chewed their food first (especially when they lacked the proper amount of teeth to do the same) and given it to them. It’s not a big deal.

Based on the following comments, however, people are freaking the f*ck out. No seriously – look at this one from a post on CNN:

“Ok, and in 1900 we used to use horses to go to the store and bleed people to try to cure an illness. Because this may have been a way to find a child (or a bird), certainly does NOT make it acceptable in 2012. This is gross and there could be sicknesses transferred from her to child. Child Protective Servives in her state, should look into this questionable practice she is performing on the child.”

I mean, really? What crazy hole did this person crawl out of to declare what is and what’s not acceptable for 2012? It gets better:

“I’ve said it before and I’m going to keep saying it. I need a license to run a business, drive a car, own a car, etc., but the requirements for becoming a parent are painfully low. Until we start regulating human breeding, this sort of thing will continue to happen.”

And…

“This is just nauseating!  She is stifling her child’s development by not allowing him to feed himself!  I feel this is hygienically incorrect, also.  The mouth is probably the dirtiest part of the body and she is transmitting all sorts of bacteria to her baby.  She was a lousy actress.  It doesn’t mean she has to be a lousy mother as well!”

Another crazy…

“It cracks me up when a famous actress has her first baby and then thinks they are the first to do so and everyone will want to hear and see their every move. Really, Vegan and you chew his food for him? Poor kid will never eat bacon? or fried chicken/ mommys saliva will be his only seasoning! Lol. She probably decrys her lack of privacy while posting this crap online too.”

Thankfully, for all of the dumb, there’s plenty of commons sense responses out there as well – like this one:

“Medical advances and knowledge of virus/bacteria transfers doesn’t deter this way of baby feeding. It supports it in that it’s shown to be not harmful to the child. You can’t expect ignorant and uneducated people to understand or think before they start replying here with dumb comments. Anyhow, this form of baby feeding isn’t new and it’s much easier for babies to digest as well. Many people (not babies) have stomachaches and digestion problems because they don’t actually chew their foods enough. I was actually fed like this in combination with letting me chew my own foods. It’s actually really funny because when I wanted to eat peanuts, I’d bring a handful to my mom for her to chew on. Poor mom. She said I was quite impatient when I was hungry.”

Let us know what you think below in the comments. As a parent, this is no big deal. The Internet is just full of children that need an education.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Samantha

    I just don’t understand people, I really don’t. It’s amazing what Americans find gross and what they find acceptable. They eat animal blood every day and that’s just fine, but something natural, be it breastfeeding (or gasp!, anything made from breastmilk), premastication, or placenta consumption (as media focus on January Jones shows) is gross. People have a messed up view as to what’s natural for us humans, and what has become “natural” for us through societal standards. I applaud Alicia and January, and anyone who is open minded enough to seek out what’s best for their health, and their child’s.

    • guest

      The problem as several doctors have stated is the real risk of transferring things like herpes and other viruses and bacteria to a child who does not yet have an immune system that can fight it.

      P.S. feel free to eat all the placenta you want – I really don’t care

  • Sam

    I don’t think it’s weird – I just don’t get it. I studied anthropology and food in some depth, and culturally, pre-mastication is generally done to break down fatty and fiberous tissue of meat in most cultures. They usually do it to break down meat in an attempt to encourage its consumption among small children. Generally, veggies and fruits never really needed pre-mastication because, well, they simply were not tough enough to need it. So, from a cultural perspective, at least, vegan pre-mastication is a rather…odd thing to do. I can understand it from a bonding perspective, but still, I view it as a bit peculiar because he expressly is a meat-free child – which would defeat the largest reason for chewing his food.

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