After answering why he doesn’t like and thinks we shouldn’t say, “Breast is best,” (because it puts formula-feeding as the norm), he goes on to answer the following question:
Q. Okay, breast is normal. But surely infant formula is second-best isn’t it?
A. No, the second-best feeding option is obviously other breast milk, for example expressed milk from a child’s own mother or milk from another mother in good health, whether directly from the breast or a human-milk bank. And if there is no breast milk, infant formula, which we should never forget began as a crisis commodity for emergency use only, is the least-bad alternative.
To put this alimentary aberration into perspective, consider routine use of infant formula as the feeding equivalent of emergency devices on airplanes – for example overhead oxygen masks and under-the-seat life jackets – suddenly transformed into everyday must-have fashion accessories. Infant formula pitched as somehow suitable for routine non-emergency use is immediately denatured, thereby forfeiting its only claim to legitimacy – as a life-sustaining crisis commodity.
But no matter how appropriate infant formula might be when infants are denied access to breast milk, feeding an inert pediatric fast-food based on the milk of an alien species remains a deviation from the biological norm for the young of our species. I invite you to reflect on this not-so-rhetorical question: At what point should society begin to regard a routine deviation from the biological norm as deviant behavior?