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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Lactation Station Breast Milk Bar

O, Canada!

Some things just have to be presented without comment.

Funding draws Tory ire by Bruce Cheadle, Canadian Press.

The federal Conservative government says it won't lay a hand on the Lactation Station Breast Milk Bar.

A Toronto performance artist is offering the public an opportunity to sample human breast milk, in the spirit of wine tasting, and the lesbian single mother is using a $9,000 grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to help get the creative juices flowing.

Jason Kenney, parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, reacted with bemusement rather than anger to the breast milk sampler, which is scheduled for July 13 at the Ontario College of Art & Design Professional Gallery.

"Personally I think we should be funding cultural endeavours that actually draw an audience, that people are actually interested in,'' said Kenney. "I'm not sure that's the case here.''

The breast milk, provided by six different women according to artist Jess Dobkin, will be pasteurized for health and safety reasons. But that consideration didn't seem top of mind for federal Health Minister Tony Clement.

"A chacun son gout,'' -- to each his own tastes, said Clement, before quickly adding, "It's not for me.''

Dobkin herself said to the Toronto Star:
"This project re-contextualizes something often regarded as indecent or repellent, offering a celebratory view.

"A substance that nourishes us in our infancy later becomes a curiosity in adulthood. Though many drink it exclusively for the first months of life, the memory of that taste and the sensation of drawing milk from the breast are forgotten. No two women's milk tastes the same, and is influenced by things we ingest and our unique biology."

Technically, breast milk isn't drinkable by those with lactose intolerance, and may not be so by those with cow's milk dairy protein allergy, since the proteins can leak through into the breast milk. So, technically, this doesn't belong in this blog. Sue me.

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