The Engineer's Notebook Blog

The Engineer's Notebook

The Engineer's Notebook is a shared blog for entries that don't fit into a specific CR4 blog. Topics may range from grammar to physics and could be research or or an individual's thoughts - like you'd jot down in a well-used notebook.

Previous in Blog: Putting a Little Scantegrity Into U.S. Politics   Next in Blog: Celebrate Banned Books Week (Part 1)
Close
Close
Close
30 comments

Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

Posted October 01, 2008 12:00 AM by Sharkles

There are strange things in our food. Existing food additives, like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), are mildly controversial when compared to the newest suggestion – human breast milk.

Human milk contains carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, digestive enzymes, and hormones. The exact amounts of these properties can change daily, depending on a woman's food intake and environment. Generally, human breast milk is said to be thinner and sweeter than cow's milk.

An Innovative Approach?

Swiss restaurateur Hans Locher gained international attention this month for planning to serve dishes made with human breast milk. Locher says that he's been experimenting with the unusual ingredient for about 35 years, since the birth of his daughter. He's perfected soups, sauces, and other entrees by using human milk paired with whipped cream – which he recommends for consistency.

To move ahead with the plan, Locher posted advertisements in local papers for volunteers and received some positive responses. Local officials were not excited about the prospect, however, and have threatened lawsuits against Locher and his donors. Their belief is that human milk cannot be stored properly or undergo enough testing to ensure that it is fresh and safe enough for consumption.

In response to the pending charges, Locher said "I don't understand all the controversy. The mother's milk is the most natural thing in the world – how can anyone be against it? It is, after all, the first thing we taste and I see no reason why I should not include it in my menu."

For PETA, The Possibilities Are Endless

Of course, most things that are considered crazy or unusual will be rallied for by somebody. In this case, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) – who are known for their extreme ideas – believe that "breast is best" when it comes to milk. PETA executive vice-president, Tracy Reiman, recently wrote to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to use human breast milk in place of cow's milk for their products.

Reiman states "The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense." The letter to Cohen and Greenfield discusses how using human breast milk would benefit their customers and cows – touching on consumer health risks and the treatment of dairy cows.

In response, Ben and Jerry have issued a statement saying "We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child." On their website, PETA fired back that their whole point is that cow's milk is intended for baby cows, and not for human consumption.

As a fan of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, I'm glad they've rejected the idea of using breast milk; I know that I couldn't handle it. For fun, I have been conducting an informal poll of my friends and all of them gave me a resounding "no" when asked if they would eat anything made with human milk.

Editors Note: Since writing this entry, a couple of people have said that they'd be willing to try a free sample if it was offered.

What do you think?

  • Should we consider using human milk over cow's milk?
  • Is it only gross because it's "in our heads"?
  • Would you try it?

Resources:

http://www.wptz.com/news/17539127/detail.html

http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/front.html?siteSect=109&ty=st&sid=9744046&front=br

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast_milk

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/article4776425.ece

http://blog.peta.org/archives/ben_and_jerrys/

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Netherlands - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - Commodore 64 - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 2703
Good Answers: 38
#1

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/01/2008 1:56 AM

Milk is Milk if it adheres to the same quality control rules as do cows milk then i do not see an issue, off course Cows have a stringent diet compared to humans, also Humans take alcohol, cigarettes & medicine which changes the quality and taste of the milk.

I would not mind a job as Milk taster at the source

But fun aside, how to get sufficient milk, Batteries of milking-machines with housewife's in it? it will be a novelty at best

__________________
From the Movie "The Big Lebowski" Don't pee on the carpet man!
Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Popular Science - Weaponology - Organizer Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Engineering Fields - Nuclear Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3464
Good Answers: 32
#2

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/01/2008 8:34 AM

So let me get this straight. PETA's logic is that cow milk is for baby cows and human milk is for human . . . adults? And would they be more comfortable if we human carnivores began eating each other instead of cattle?

Reply
Guru
United States - Member - Lifelong New Yorker Popular Science - Biology - Animal Science Technical Fields - Technical Writing - Technical Writer

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 2409
Good Answers: 59
#4
In reply to #2

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/01/2008 9:01 AM

I agree with Moose - apart from being disgusting, it sounds like borderline cannibalism to me!

There's a reason why we stop drinking breastmilk at a certain age. (Although that's an argument for why we don't need dairy products at all.) But I don't think we should be going back to type of milk after we've stopped. And I don't think that it could easily be regulated, anyway, apart from drug or alchohol screenings. You can't exactly keep the women confined for quality control purposes!

Reply
2
Anonymous Poster
#10
In reply to #2

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/02/2008 7:58 AM

PETA and logic? Now There are two words which do not belong in the same sentance...

Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New York
Posts: 578
Good Answers: 16
#3

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/01/2008 8:53 AM

I can definitely see everyone's reluctance to try human milk. I myself am sometimes a picky eater but I can admit many of the foods I stay away from are all in my head. If I don't know what it is then I usually like it.

As far as nutritional value goes, I'm not sure the chemical differences between cow milk and human milk but PETA does have a point that cow milk is for cows and human milk is for humans. If you think the respective milk is only for baby cows or baby humans then maybe adults shouldn't be drinking any milk at all??

The only real problem I see is obtaining enough human milk to go around.
I would be a little squirmish about it but I'd give it a try.

__________________
Kaplin
Reply
3
Associate

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 52
Good Answers: 2
#5

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/01/2008 11:15 AM

An interesting idea, but not an overly practical one.

Everything a mother eats or drinks goes right into her breast milk - good AND bad. Who would be willing to spend the money to screen and test the milk of donors in order to make ice cream? And would they be able to locate enough breastfeeding women not only willing to donate their milk, but also ones who do not drink or smoke in any capacity and who are not taking any medications?

The Red Cross screens VERY heavily for blood donors - and they are always suffering from blood shortages. Does PETA really think that enough breast milk can be harvested from applicable women to make enough ice cream for the populace?

__________________
mmannix@nycap.rr.com
Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1160
Good Answers: 36
#7
In reply to #5

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/01/2008 3:32 PM

I definitely agree with you about the implications to promoting breast milk. Eating and drinking odd things will vary the taste and such of the milk and you WILL NOT be able to EVER control what a woman wants to eat. It is much easier to tell cows 'go eat grass' than to tell a woman that she can't have chocolate because then her milk tastes funny.

Also, a lot of genetic diseases can be spread through the milk, such as AIDS. I don't think that breast milk is regulated enough to where I would even try it unless I was sure it was disease free. Just like I wouldn't get a tattoo unless there was no chance of catching an incurable disease.

I think that Galina was right on the button with this one. Plus, a lot of things that can be transmitted through blood can also be transmitted through breast milk. They would have to have as heavy screenings for breast milk as for blood.

Reply
Anonymous Poster
#6

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/01/2008 11:29 AM

Looks like other restaurants have tried this before as well with mixed reactions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWBCOH0a-vE

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Piney Flats, Tennessee
Posts: 1740
Good Answers: 23
#8

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/02/2008 1:26 AM

According to the EPA breast milk in the USA has a lot substance in it that should not be there the mother picks up from the enviorment, espically if they live near where they burn trash.

__________________
If you never do anything you never have problems.
Reply
Power-User
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - Musician - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Africa Johannesburg
Posts: 187
Good Answers: 3
#9

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/02/2008 4:52 AM

Should we consider using human milk over cow's milk?

Its a personal choice really, i don't consume dairy so it wouldn't be fair for me to answer

Is it only gross because it's "in our heads"?

Yes, AND the possibility of pathogens being passed on

Would you try it?

Probably after a 10 pinter and a dare

__________________
Think and move like an electron
Reply
Anonymous Poster
#13
In reply to #9

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/02/2008 7:22 PM

Don't knock it 'till you've tried it.

Travis

Reply
Guru
United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gone to Alabama with my banjo on my knee...
Posts: 5595
Good Answers: 20
#11

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/02/2008 10:28 AM

What do you think?

  • Should we consider using human milk over cow's milk?
  • Is it only gross because it's "in our heads"?
  • Would you try it?
  1. Yes, we should consider it. OK, now that we've done that, and found both the practicality and the safety wanting, let's move on.
  2. Probably, but it just sounds all too kinky to ever make it in these parts.
  3. Sure, drunk enough or on a dare, I'd try almost anything that appeared to be marginally edible. Afterwards?

__________________
Veni, vidi, video - I came, I saw, I got it on film.
Reply
Guru
United States - Member - Technical Fields - Education - Hobbies - Hunting - Popular Science - Weaponology -

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 552
Good Answers: 8
#12

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/02/2008 1:52 PM

You only get milk if you have the right hormones. So will women be having extra babies to produce extra milk? What are their babies going to eat? I guess they could just give women hormone to make them lactate. Very strange.

I don't drink much cow's milk. I can't however, turn down good cheese or ice cream. Regardless, I think there are a lot of ethical issues here that are far better left alone.

__________________
David A Goodman
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Earth. England/America -the birthplace of the C. S. A. - anywhere I imagine -home.
Posts: 773
Good Answers: 33
#14

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/03/2008 12:41 AM

1. PETA is nuts. Everything we eat was meant for a purpose other than as food for us, including fruits and vegetables.

2. Diseases and quality are impossible to control.

3. An adequate supply would require maintaining "herds" of women on strict diets, with total health care and the occasional "freshening" by forced breeding. I doubt any of it would be very popular with those in the "herds".

4. The only fun way to get the milk is the good old-fashioned way of applying lips to the breast of a willing and fun-loving woman. A people dairy is disgusting.

__________________
No technology is so obsolete that it won't work. A stone knife still can kill you as dead as a laser.
Reply
Guru
United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gone to Alabama with my banjo on my knee...
Posts: 5595
Good Answers: 20
#17
In reply to #14

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/03/2008 7:25 AM

"...PETA is nuts..."

PETA seems to be mostly vegans, and nuts are vegetable matter, therefore the obvious conclusion to be drawn from your statement is that PETA advocates and practices cannibalism. Would that it were so, eh?

__________________
Veni, vidi, video - I came, I saw, I got it on film.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Active Contributor

Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 24
#15

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/03/2008 12:46 AM

added to the apprehensions by our fellow members, when these things gets commercialised, volunteers will turn professionals, greed will make our sisters and mothers to go for artificial enhancers like pumping steroids, etc. and basically I am looking at the need for such a idiotic proposal, what drives people to think like this in the name of innovation. Friends enlighten me????

Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Netherlands - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - Commodore 64 - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 2703
Good Answers: 38
#16

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/03/2008 1:29 AM

After Human milk -> Soylent Green?

__________________
From the Movie "The Big Lebowski" Don't pee on the carpet man!
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - Popular Science - Paleontology - New Member

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Holeincanoe Ontario
Posts: 2169
Good Answers: 27
#18
In reply to #16

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/04/2008 6:06 PM

Too salty.

__________________
Prophet Freddy has the answer!
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Netherlands - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - Commodore 64 - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 2703
Good Answers: 38
#19
In reply to #18

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/05/2008 8:54 PM

They have chemicals for that, Melamine?

__________________
From the Movie "The Big Lebowski" Don't pee on the carpet man!
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - Popular Science - Paleontology - New Member

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Holeincanoe Ontario
Posts: 2169
Good Answers: 27
#20
In reply to #19

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/05/2008 9:44 PM

From a Stepford wife perhaps?

__________________
Prophet Freddy has the answer!
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Netherlands - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - Commodore 64 - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 2703
Good Answers: 38
#21
In reply to #20

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/05/2008 10:08 PM

i guess that would be pure latex "milk"

__________________
From the Movie "The Big Lebowski" Don't pee on the carpet man!
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - Popular Science - Paleontology - New Member

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Holeincanoe Ontario
Posts: 2169
Good Answers: 27
#22
In reply to #21

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/05/2008 11:30 PM

The elegance of robotics perhaps? or maybe edible bio-plastics.....?

Already there is silk being produced from goats milk......synthetic cow stomaches next.....?

__________________
Prophet Freddy has the answer!
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Netherlands - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - Commodore 64 - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 2703
Good Answers: 38
#23
In reply to #22

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/05/2008 11:43 PM

Something for those closet guys? edible panties made by goats for their robotic girlfriends

__________________
From the Movie "The Big Lebowski" Don't pee on the carpet man!
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - Popular Science - Paleontology - New Member

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Holeincanoe Ontario
Posts: 2169
Good Answers: 27
#24
In reply to #23

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/06/2008 7:44 AM

Sign me up........

__________________
Prophet Freddy has the answer!
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - Old Salt Hobbies - CNC - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Rosedale, Maryland USA
Posts: 5198
Good Answers: 266
#25

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/08/2008 3:00 PM

The use of human milk would open another can of worms. What do we do with the unwanted children? Because it would sure take a lot of women to meet the demand that the dairy cow provides for us.

__________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty, pristine body but rather to come sliding in sideways, all used up and exclaiming, "Wow, what a ride!"
Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Netherlands - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - Commodore 64 - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 2703
Good Answers: 38
#26
In reply to #25

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/08/2008 8:20 PM

Women can lactate even if they are not pregnant

__________________
From the Movie "The Big Lebowski" Don't pee on the carpet man!
Reply
Anonymous Poster
#27

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/13/2008 2:17 PM

I have been saying this for years. My buds are disguested by this, but wouldn't you rather drink the breast milk of your own species instead of sucking a cow's tit. Agreed, there would have to be a stringent disenfecting and preserving process to insure quality. This will be hard to do because each woman's diet can't be controlled, but if each batch is tested it should be possible (and expensive). Since it is alot easier to harvest cow's breast milk, any food with human breast milk would be a specialty market anyway.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Earth. England/America -the birthplace of the C. S. A. - anywhere I imagine -home.
Posts: 773
Good Answers: 33
#28
In reply to #27

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/15/2008 7:11 PM

"...wouldn't you rather drink the breast milk of your own species instead of sucking a cow's tit." Only if directly from the happy and fun-loving source.

The entire idea of turning women into dairy herds is degrading and disgusting. It also proves that PETA equates women with cows.

Now if some of those gorgeous actresses in PETA want to volunteer for my idea, I could accomodate them, that would just be fun.

__________________
No technology is so obsolete that it won't work. A stone knife still can kill you as dead as a laser.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22652
Good Answers: 409
#29

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

10/24/2008 1:54 PM

WOW, Thats an incentive. I want to get back into dairy farming, and have a herd of about 100.

oops, i said that out loud did'nt i.

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4448
Good Answers: 143
#30

Re: Human Breast Milk in Your Ice Cream

12/17/2008 12:26 PM

Oh, there'll be an outcry the first time we have to destroy a herd because of scrapie.

__________________
"Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Reply to Blog Entry 30 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (4); dadw5boys (1); DAG (1); Duckinthepond (4); EnviroMan (2); Epke (6); Galina (1); Jaxy (1); Kaplin (1); kayems (1); madness (1); ozzb (1); phoenix911 (1); SavvyExacta (1); Steve Melito (1); Taganan (2); TVP45 (1)

Previous in Blog: Putting a Little Scantegrity Into U.S. Politics   Next in Blog: Celebrate Banned Books Week (Part 1)
You might be interested in: Human Resources Services, Human Resources Software

Advertisement