Green Room

For the Palate That’s Had Everything: Breast Milk Ice Cream

posted at 3:44 pm on February 25, 2011 by

May I be the first to say, “Blecccch!” What is the world coming to? Yes, I understand, we foodies are a jaded lot. We are always on the lookout for new culinary thrills and spills.

I thought we might have finally hit “the wall” with the arrival of “Mommy’s Milk Cheese,” served at Klee Brasserie here in New York, but, boy, was I ever naïve. Not everyone is a cheesaholic. But who doesn’t love a big scoop or dish of cold, sweet ice cream? Never mind that it’s made from the milk of a human breast.

On sale starting today at a store called Icecreamists, in the Covent Garden section of London, the breast milk-based “treat” is being promoted as organic and—er… “free-range.” (Does that mean the donor of the milk went braless during the production phase?)

Sold under the “Baby Gaga” label, the confection doesn’t come cheaply. The going rate is a steep £14 ($23) per serving. No word from store founder Matt O’Connor on how much extra he charges for sprinkles.

One of the providers of the milk used in the product is 35-year-old Victoria Hiley, who responded to an online ad at the mothers’ forum Mumsnet. She and other participating moms receive £15 for every 10 ounces of milk extracted via breast pump.

Hiley, who works with women who have problems breast-feeding their babies, is quoted in the UK tabloid The Sun as having said:

What could be more natural than fresh, free-range mother’s milk in an ice cream? And for me it’s a recession beater too—what’s the harm in using my assets for a bit of extra cash.

One possible answer to Hiley’s question was provided by FoxNews.com Managing Health Editor and physician Manny Alvarez when Klee Brasserie made headlines with its breast milk cheese. Consumption of breast milk, he warned,

could unknowingly expose consumers to infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV.

I have one added quibble and that’s with the product description. If it’s made from milk, shouldn’t it be called ice milk? Then again, that’s probably the least of Baby Gaga’s problems.

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Cross-posted at the Examiner. Follow me on Twitter or join me at Facebook. You can reach me at howard.portnoy@gmail.com or by posting a comment below.

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Consumption of breast milk, he warned,

could unknowingly expose consumers to infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV.

I thought pasteurization dealt with that.
Um, they do pasteurize the milk, right?

Count to 10 on February 25, 2011 at 3:53 PM

I have one added quibble and that’s with the product description. If it’s made from milk, shouldn’t it be called ice milk?

So you think cows have a separate teat just for cream?

Ha We on February 25, 2011 at 4:53 PM

So you think cows have a separate teat just for cream?

Nope. Just that the product made from cold-churning milk is called ice milk.

Howard Portnoy on February 25, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Time for TMI:
when I worked in a newborn nursery many years ago, a new mom brought in homemade bread of some sort. One of the nurses asked her about the ingredients and guess whose milk she used? yep, her own.
Every single nurse/doctor/etc who tried the bread had to go get HIV and other such tests for a very long time after that.
Luckily (for me at least), I was on vacation when this happened….
After that, there was a policy in that nursery that if people brought us food as a “thank you”, it had to be store bought.

mjk on February 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM

I thought pasteurization dealt with that.
Um, they do pasteurize the milk, right?

Count to 10 on February 25, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Yes, and yes. Add to that subfreezing temperatures and the statistics on how likely a breastfed child is to catch HIV from their mother’s milk (you have to nurse for upwards of a year to enter likelihood), AND the fact that HIV does not last well outside the body– it seems pretty darned safe in that regard.

Ickie, sure, but you’re not going to get AIDS from eating a bowl of mama-milk ice cream.

RachDubya on February 25, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Would it be culturally insensitive to ask if an Eskimo Pie made with this ice cream would be culturally insensitive?

malclave on February 25, 2011 at 6:58 PM

More importantly, where does Moochelle and her breast feeding task force stand on this issue?

*before you answer that, picture all the times we have seen the O’s scarfing down ice cream treats. *iiiiiccck*

ZeeMI on February 25, 2011 at 7:44 PM

@mjk on February 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM

That is a horrible story! Why would anyone find that acceptable? But shouldn’t the baking process have killed any germs that could make you sick?

I remember once when I lived with a family that had just had a baby. They were talking about what they do when they start to wean a baby, which is to add some of the green smoothies that we drank each day to pumped breast milk and gradually make it all smoothie. They then shared that they had experimented with putting the milk into the smoothies for everyone. I was horrified until they said that it was before I came along.

tikvah on February 26, 2011 at 12:06 AM