A video Alicia Silverstone recently uploaded showing her feeding her toddler, Bear Blu, by first premasticating his food has spread far and wide online.
"I just had a delicious breakfast of miso soup, collards and radish steamed and drizzled with flax oil, cast iron mochi with nori wrapped outside, and some grated daikon," the long-time vegan posted to her blog The Kind Life. "Yum! I fed Bear the mochi and a tiny bit of veggies from the soup … from my mouth to his. It’s his favorite ... and mine. He literally crawls across the room to attack my mouth if I’m eating. This video was taken about a month or 2 ago when he was a bit wobbly. Now he is grabbing my mouth to get the food!"
Silverstone, 35, then embedded a video showing her chewing up Bear's food and passing it to his mouth.
Naturally, the first reaction from most people is "ew!", particularly for those who do not have children. But some people have taken things even further — claiming that the practice is somehow a threat to Silverstone's boy.
"This is gross and there could be sicknesses transferred from her to child," wrote one crazy person on CNN. "Child Protective Servives [sic] in her state, should look into this questionable practice she is performing on the child."
The truth behind premastication is that it's been a common practice for thousands of years — and an accepted form of feeding a baby in some cultures. Researchers hypothesize that it's also the reason kissing evolved to become a common form of showing affection. From Wikipedia:
Premastication/kiss-feeding or kissing between mother and infant has been observed in all human cultures, with kissing believed to be a socially ritualized from of feeding premasticated food.The similarity between kiss-feeding and human kisses (e.g. French kiss) are very similar in its execution; in the former, the tongue is used to push food from mother to child with the child receiving both the mother's food and tongue in sucking movements, and the latter simply forgoes the premasticated food.
So while it's natural to be grossed out, you shouldn't feel any more judgmental than that. In fact, if you've ever French kissed someone, you're embracing the very act on display in the video. Get a grip, Internet.