Sunday, June 29, 2014

Premastication

Premastication or pre-chewing is the act of chewing food for the purpose of physically breaking it down in order to feed another that is incapable of masticating the food by themselves. This is often done by the mother or relatives of a baby to produce baby food capable of being consumed by the child through the weaning process. The chewed food in the form of a bolus is transferred from the mouth of one individual to another, either directly mouth-to-mouth, via utensils, hands, or further cooked or processed prior to feeding. Many modern societies have strong aversions toward premastication, which has been compared to the aversion towards breastfeeding in the same societies during previous generations.

Premastication and mouth-to-mouth feeding in humans is postulated to have evolved from the regurgitation of food from parent to offspring or male to female (courtship feeding) and has been been observed in numerous mammals and animals of other species.

In many human cultures, the act of premastication and direct mouth-to-mouth feeding is linked with the showing of affection, known as kiss feeding. This form of feeding is believed to have evolved into the modern human acts of kissing and french kissing.

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