Human Milk is the Human Norm - Jennifer Grayson #134

"Scientists mapped the human genome a decade ago, but we still haven’t mapped what’s in human milk.” —Jennifer Grayson

Jennifer Grayson — breastfeeding mother and author of Unlatched: The Evolution of Breastfeeding and the Making of a Controversy — has made it her mission to find out how & why we've moved away from breastfeeding as a society and to identify what needs to happen for human milk to once again become the human norm.

In this eye-opening conversation, Jennifer takes us on a journey through the timeline of our attempts to re-create breastmilk and the industrialization of feeding our babies. While breastfeeding has been making a comeback in the last few years, this natural, ancestral practice is still considered controversial and taboo in our society, and Jennifer shares what we can do to help normalize breastfeeding once again. From the sexualization of breasts to the risks of not breastfeeding to the lack of societal support for breastfeeding women, we cover a lot of ground in this interview. Tune in for an education on our first and most fundamental experience as human beings.


  • Show introduction:
    • Exciting announcement: New T-shirt/Sticker “I’d Rather Hunt + Gather”!
    • How to win a free “I’d Rather Hunt + Gather” T-shirt/Sticker
    • Roadkill as a way to eat wild meat
    • Q&A: Creating space for rewilding practice in a world set out to enslave and dominate our time
    • Q&A: Thoughts on coffee/stimulants in general
    • Q&A: Interviewing guests from a hunter-gatherer/indigenous background on the show
  • The importance of the topic of breastfeeding
  • When did we start moving away from breastfeeding?
  • The phenomena of the wet nurse
  • Industrialization of feeding human babies
  • The timeline of our attempts to re-create human breastmilk
  • Why it’s difficult for some women to breastfeed
  • Benefits of breastfeeding
  • Modern day vs anthropological norms for breastfeeding length of time
  • The sexualization of breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding in public
  • How to make breastfeeding the norm in the United States
  • How can we help as individuals to make breastfeeding the norm
  • Is it inevitable that human milk will become the human norm?
  • Jennifer's prognosis for the future of the human species

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Meet Jennifer

Jennifer Grayson is an environmental journalist and the author of the book Unlatched: The Evolution of Breastfeeding and the Making of a Controversy, which has been widely covered in the media since its release by HarperCollins this past summer. Her incisive investigative reporting coupled with her deeply personal writing has been lauded by luminaries from Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Michael Moss to renowned food activist Marion Nestle to Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway, and the book was named one of the five provocative new health reads of 2016 by the USA Today Network. 
Jennifer’s other writings have appeared in numerous publications, including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and The Huffington Post, where she wrote the long-running popular Innovation Earth and Eco Etiquette columns for the Green section, and her commentary has graced the pages and airwaves of Slate, Discovery, Entrepreneur, MSNBC, WGN and NPR, among many others. 
Jennifer has nursed a lifelong fascination with our time’s vanishing connection to the natural world, along with the hope for its ultimate restoration. (In other words, rewilding – she just didn’t know it had a name.) Unlatched was born of this profound preoccupation – and of her most important work to date: Becoming a mother. She lives in Los Angeles with her screenwriter husband and two young daughters.