Friday, February 25, 2011

Would This Be Considered Organic?

Liquid gold, they call it.
When you are breastfeeding, or trying to anyway, it is drilled into your head how precious and wonderful breast milk is.

Liquid gold.

Now an ice cream shop in London is turning that breast milk (with some Madagascan vanilla and lemon zest) into frozen liquid gold, a treat(?) they are calling the Baby Gaga. It is served in a martini glass by a waitress dressed up in a Lady Gaga-style costume.
For $22 a pop.

And it is so popular they cannot keep up with demand. To meet the apparently insatiable appetite (or is it merely curiosity?) that Londoners have for the Baby Gaga, they are soliciting women to sell their breast milk.

The shop, Icecreamists, is offering to pay $24 for 10 ounces of pumped breast milk. That comes out to $2.40 an ounce. Which is pretty much on par with buying milk from a milk bank, which, in this country is about $2-3 an ounce.

I guess if you have extra milk and are looking to make some extra cash, this could be one way to do it. Though it also seems to me that a better use would be to sell it or donate it to someone who needs it for, you know, an actual baby.

And I know that breast is best and all that jazz, but the idea of breast milk ice cream just kind of creeps me out.

(Kinda reminds me of a certain scene from the greatest film ever produced.)

Personally, I'd rather take mine warm, directly from the spigot if the waitress is cute.


Palm boy said...

I tried convincing my girlfriend this was a good way for some of our friends to make some money after they give birth. The response was 'that can't be healthy. And its gross. And I don't want any'.

This may be a niche product after all

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Heh, I wonder if whoever wrote that article ever read the rules for donating milk.

Since I produced far more than Kit needed, I looked into it-- nope. No way. Was a HUGE pamphlet, mostly of rules, and everything from taking vitamins or recovering from a c-section to having a beer after the baby was in bed disqualified me from even submitting a request to qualify.

I think it's gross, though.

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

Personally, I would rather drink milk from a carefully screened human boob, than from a cow choking down antibiotic and vitamin-enhanced shredded newspaper. Drinking a liquid that comes out of pus-filled ungulate teats that are warehoused inside a fly and shit infested factory farm is pretty nasty. I love ice cream, but cow's milk gives the shits and unless it's organic, it's too disgusting for me to even consider. If this product ever makes it to the states, I'll be one of the suckers handing out twenty-two bucks a scoop.

(Can you tell I live around too many farming operations?)

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said... many organic dairies have you been to?

Every one I've been to is far less sanitary than the supposed "factory farms," they're just more dangerous to any neighbors with cattle. (herd immunity doesn't do much good when the neighbor's cattle can harbor and strengthen an infection)

Brian said...

I find the idea of consuming human breast milk (or products thereof) utterly revolting, but I can't really explain why. Particularly since so many of us (me included) started off life drinking it daily. Gut-level reaction, to be sure.

I *think* it may be some inborn mechanism to get us off the stuff and on to real food at an appropriate age (and also free up mom for your younger siblings.) But I really don't know.

If there's anything to that, it suggests that we probably shouldn't be consuming dairy from other species either (from an evolutionary POV). But I'd probably give up a finger before I'd give up cheese forever.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

It could be a societal thing-- nursing is incredibly intimate, hugely symbolic, and then there's the whole secondary sex characteristic thing that I won't be more explicit than that about. ^.^

IIRC, back in the middle ages the children of a child's wet nurse (and any other children she'd nursed) were considered siblings for the purpose of marriage and such.

Jade said...

My immediate thought is "ew".

I recall one of my doctors telling me that "cow's milk is designed to make baby cows fat - that's why people shouldn't be drinking it". And though I enjoy a good latte now and then, I believe she has a point.

If you want to get into the all natural reason for it, breast milk is meant to provide babies with the nutrients they are unable to consume as infants. When they grow older and have control over chewing and swallowing (and when they grow teeth) breast milk is no longer necessary.

Brian - my trainer tried to sell me on dropping dairy all together, as it's not something we are "really meant to eat". He stopped eating gluten and dairy and dropped a bunch of fat, which I applaud him for...
...but there's no way I can give up cheese forever either.

Does that mean cheese is counted as a vice now?

Gino said...

and thene there is breast milk cheese, coming soon to a Whole Foods near you.

my name is Amanda said...

If you're into organic, Gino, then have I got a cookbook for you!

my name is Amanda said...

Also, I think most people find breastmilk disgusting, because the idea of our bodies producing food/nutrients for grown humans makes us feel base, like we're just animals. (Which we are, of course, but we don't like to feel that way. It's scary.) So we relegate breastmilk to one particular phase of life, and then grow up and try to pretend we didn't spend months suckling on our mother's boobs.

So yeah, the idea makes me want to hurl.

And I will throw my vote in with the "NEVER GIVING UP CHEESE" crowd.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

I'll take the folks who want me to give up cheese (or processed meat, like bacon!) seriously when they move on to a diet of bugs, week-old road kill, marrow and raw plants.

Last I heard, that's what we were "supposed" to have evolved to eat-- cooking breaks down the muscle tissue so we can digest it, vaguely similar but really different from how time and biology will do it.

(I do know the notion of being able to feed my child from myself didn't seem odd or animalistic at all, but then again I am Catholic and my mom's family are very vocal Irish Catholics-- similar metaphors have been part of my life forever.)

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...


I've been to organic farms run by responsible people who actually treat their cows better than their children. I've also been to organic farms that are piles of shit and food poisoning waiting to happen.

It's all about sourcing.


I too am on the cheese bandwagon.


Brian said...

There's pretty good evidence that our brains grew exponentially once we figured out how to cook meat. The expansion of the hominid cranium (and presumably its contents) happens *really* fast in the fossil record. Agriculture and cooking are actually factors in our evolution, which is ongoing.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Brian-- didn't they just decide that our brains have shrunk since the hunter-gatherer era? (of course, size isn't what matters, it's the... oh, whatever they call the processors...) Link includes a lot of unlabeled storytelling/guesswork, however educated it may be.

I sort of wonder about this stuff--I know that domestic pig stock is impossible to tell from wild/hundred generation feral pig stock (barring color cues) if they're left feral for two generations; is it evolution, or more of a dietary/environmental adaptation? I know that the diet you grow up with matters a LOT for what you can deal with-- my granny ate things that would probably kill me of food poisoning.

*subject jump*

Cheese is a great source of protein and energy, modern pemmican too.

I wouldn't be surprised if the amount of meat and dairy we eat is why folks are so much bigger than they use to be-- if you give puppies a high protein diet, they grow taller. (They recently found that giving large breeds a low protein diet when they're in growth spurts might make them live longer, since it counters the inability to get enough stuff to build themselves right.)

Bike Bubba said...

Foxfier, protein and vitamins, yes. Moving from grains alone (especially refined grains) to a balanced diet does wonders. It's why "ABCs" (American born chinese) are close to as tall as the fishbelly white, and their parents are a foot shorter.

And regarding Amanda's, I think I'll stick with cheese, and avoid having dinner with anyone who owns that cookbook....

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Japanese (here and in Japan) seem to average taller than white American males; it's interesting to see what groups grow a bunch taller with better nutrition.