The Infantivore's Dilemma

Note: Don't read this if you work for CPS or find my other posts disgusting or offensive. Move along now. I mean it.

prep for grilling baby
Self-basting Henry preps for grilling

Tough times call for tough decisions. The California unemployment rate now stands at over 12 percent, and I've been underemployed since April. My cup of beans and rice runneth under, so I'm taking a cue from all those folks who have told me Henry is so cute they could just eat him. In short, I have a modest proposal.

Among carnivores and vegetarians alike, the mere sight of juicy baby leg -- peeking out from the gap between the hem of Gymboree overalls and the top of the Robeez soft sole -- is enough to trigger salivation of Pavlovian proportions. Breastfed Henry weighs about 23 pounds now, and I figure that whether stewed, roasted, baked or even boiled, in a fricassee or a ragout, he'd make a most delicious and nourishing wholesome food. In fact, I'm fairly certain I could get several meals out of him, not counting soup stock.

Babies are high in fat and must therefore be quite tasty. Think about it: the ratio of fat to muscle in babies, especially before they start walking, likely exceeds that of ducks, and we all know ducks are scrumptious. Ergo, babies must be even more scrumptious.

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There's also the convenience factor: babies make great, quick and easy weeknight suppers. Though this recipe suggests roasting, I'm a crock pot fan myself. Throw the baby in the crock pot in the morning with some carrots, celery, bay leaf, and water, and presto, by the time you get home from work, dinner's ready.

But let's put aside advantages of taste and convenience for a moment and focus on the most important thing: the planet. Eating my baby is the only environmentally responsible way in which I can address my pantry problem. If you too are a mom, a foodie, and a tree hugger, you can't afford NOT to eat your baby.

First of all, when it comes to eating local, you can't get much more local than your child's nursery (or, for those of you without children, the family-based child care center around the corner). I can feel good knowing that a meal I prepare from my baby has virtually no carbon footprint: I have hauled him myself with a Baby Bjorn for nearly 11 months now, so the only energy expended has been courtesy of my own caloric intake.

Secondly, babies are free-range and cage-free (especially babies that co-sleep). I don't have to worry that my meal never saw the light of day or felt green grass under its feet. I've taken my baby to the park at least three times a week since he was born. One could also argue that he's grass fed, as he just ate grass while crawling toward the swings in Willard Park on Sunday. When you eat your own baby, you can rest assured knowing exactly what he ate and when, down to his last spoonful of organic squash from the farmer's market that you steamed and pureed yourself. If you're really careful about your baby's diet, you can even rest assured that he, and therefore you, isn't tainted by that heinous hydra of the industrial food complex: corn.

Babies are also available all year round, so say bye bye to what I call "out-of-season guilt," the kind that garnishes lamb in November and tomatoes in January.

It's actually hard to imagine a more sustainable food than baby, particularly breast-fed baby. If you eat only organic, local food, and your baby eats only breast milk and organic, local food, wears organic clothes (Think of it! No plastic grocery bags!) and G-diapers, as soon as you've thrown that kid in the crockpot, you've become a model sustainable eater. What other food can you create with your own body and feed with your own body? In food terms, it's a perfect circle.

Save the planet: eat your baby.

babyback ribs
End this barbecue season with a bang.

** Disclaimer: No babies were actually barbecued during the photoshoot for this post thanks to an Eye Candy Photoshop filter. Don't try this at home...or anywhere else.

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Photos and Photoshop by Wendy Goodfriend

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