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).
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.