Breast-Milk Cheese: Why Not?

I posted an article yesterday on Holy Cow’s Facebook page about a New York chef who made cheese with– hold your reflexes!– his wife’s breast milk.

One reaction to that post succintly went: “Ewwwwwww.” Someone else thought it was a cool idea.

Ewwwww is pretty much how most of us would respond. To most adults, the idea of consuming human breast milk sounds disgusting,  even though we did spend our early months on earth grabbing for it. And while that was a perfectly natural and wonderful thing while it lasted, I for one sure am glad I don’t remember it any more. :)

Still, if you think about it honestly, isn’t human breast milk a better fit for us than cow’s milk ever can be?

After all we are human, not cows (at least not literally). And it’s not healthy for any animal to gorge on the milk of another species– if you have a cat or a dog you know, for instance, that vets advise against giving them cow’s milk because they cannot digest it.

The only reason we don’t think of cow’s milk as gross is because we are weaned into it early in our lives. Humans have an infinite capacity to overcome disgust for foods, and milk– the smelly stuff that comes from a cow’s teats — seems perfectly palatable just because we are so used to it.

There are other reasons that make human milk preferable — like the fact that the human is more able to make a conscious decision to give her milk, whereas the cow is being forced into a life of slavery and into giving up the milk that was meant for her calf (who will be killed for veal).

So would the cheese/milk lovers among you eat chef Daniel Angerer’s maple caramelized pumpkin seed encrusted cheese with concord grapes– made with breast milk?

It sounds pretty cool and it’s on his menu at his New York restaurant, Klee Brasserie. If you’d prefer to make your own, he even has a recipe here.

Enjoy! Or not.

Update: Okay, I think people are going all over the map with this one, and I think it’s time to weigh in.

First, there’s the concern expressed by Claire that if we do start using human breast milk, we are going to see more women being exploited.

Second, AMA and Sharmila are worrying about depriving human kids of their mothers’ milk.

Okay, in a situation where people actually start using breast milk on a wide scale, these can be legitimate concerns. But I, for one, don’t see any danger of that happening. This is just a fun/gross/shocking stunt pulled by someone with his wife’s excess breast milk. I doubt everyone is going to start depriving their kids of milk and start curdling it into cheese or yogurt for mass consumption any time soon.

This post is intended to make you think about the grossness of cow’s milk: and why that appears something so natural when it really isn’t any less disgusting than human milk. As for the commenter, Glove Slap, who raises the concern that human milk may not be healthy for humans– hello, but neither is cow’s milk.

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  1. says

    I just checked out the article..Butter and cream is on the way??!!

    Atleast we know what the mom ate, instead of worrying what food the cow might have had..You never know may be they’ll find some health benefits of BM Cheese..

  2. says

    My first thought was that this is hilarious. My second is that he probably just did this for the publicity. My third thought is that this wouldn’t ever be an answer to exploitation, because if there were a demand for this, someone would just exploit poor human women.

  3. says

    I donot know what to comment about.Does he know the plight of mothers who wants to nurse their babies , due to health reasons or lack of milk they are not able to.The article might sound hilarious but I am sure the Laleche leagues and other mother groups would raise against it.
    I feel Yucky .

  4. says

    You make a good point on how we can consider another mammal’s milk ‘normal’ to consume, but drinking human milk is just so weird. Which it is, when you’re an adult! That’s why I prefer to consume neither :)

  5. says

    I agree with Claire. If a demand develops for human milk, human women will soon be attached to milk pumps 24 hours a day, just like cows are. We’ll be seeing “milkshop” raids on Frontline… hidden cameras bursting into basements where crowds of lactating milk slaves are chained together, begging to see the sunlight again.

    Anyway, even though human milk may be more suitable for humans, isn’t it only more suitable for baby humans? Should adults be consuming dairy?

  6. says


    Anything good can be used for bad cause and bad could be used for good causes, it is up to us to make it the way we like. I personally think mom’s milk is first for her baby/babies, than other human babies, than other things. I do have problem with human milk being used to create beauty products, did you hear about it?

  7. says

    Yuck, definetly gross and weird idea, if it is excess he could have donated to nearest hospital where many new born babies could have benefited!

  8. says

    I just read your update, Vaishali. I completely agree that this is mostly an interesting thing to think about, and not about to be reality. For what it’s worth I read a lot of science fiction when I was young; sometimes my imagination runs away from me!

  9. says

    I actually think this is amazing. My hunny has been waiting for me to start lactating so we can make cheese! I think that it is my milk so I can do what I please with it, and they had the right to do what they wanted. So stop juding!

  10. mia says

    laugh out loud, yes, women would be chained to their milk pumps, not seeing the light of day.that’s EXACTLY what would happen.cause animals and humans are given equal rights, don’t you know?!??

  11. says

    I am not a big fan of cheese, so I am not worried about that.

    But I cannot help think about milk, in various forms.

    Cows Milk, It is cruel to steal it from the calf. Having said, that I grew up loving it. Now, am I a hypocrite? Humans Waste what is supposed to be a life saving drink for cow. So ‘inhumane’.

    Breast Milk, We shed it away saying, now stop breast feeding honey, otherwise the kid will never leave you. Too little is used in my opinion here.

    Soy Milk, I see Soy being the next corn. So watch out!

  12. says

    Vaishali, your post has evidently done its job of provoking thought about species-appropriate milk. But I hope it also provokes, in those who find the idea inherently disgusting, some thought about where that disgust originates.

    Our own bodies are increasingly marketed as alien entities, dangerous to ourselves and impossible to keep healthy except through consumption of vaccines, antibiotics, and the rest. A lot follows from that lie.

  13. says

    Sometime back I read an article that Breast milk is widely used in europe. Hope this doesn’t lead to any invention of some hormone that could make a woman yield breast milk always…

  14. says

    Do we have a recipe to follow? I know the Chef in NY added some cow’s milk, however I want our cheese to be 100% breast milk and can’t find a good recipe. :)

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