Miriam Simun, a graduate student at NYU, is making cheese out of breastmilk. As part of her aptly titled “Human Cheese Project“, she has been taking milk from nursing mothers, culturing it, blending it with goat or cow milk and creating cheese out of the dairy source “as a way to engage people in conversation about biotechnology, food systems, and the human body.” Sounds decidedly un-delicious.
I actually am a nursing mother and think feeding your child in this manner is one of the most amazing things in the world. Just imagine – you can sustain life! However, the idea of human cheese makes me want to gag. Breastmilk does not taste like cow or goat or sheep or buffalo milk. And I’ve had enough of it vomited all over me to know.
But a lot of people are intrigued and want to slab a nice chunk of human cheese (every time I write this I can’t help but think of the nasty stuff that accumulates under your toe nails.) over a buttery Ritz cracker. In fact, Simun has several cheese tastings scheduled for this Spring.
What a find most disturbing about all this are the sources of the actual breastmilk. One source sold her breastmilk (you need the money, fine) and another source simply donated it to Simun. Lady, if you have so much extra milk, why not donate it to a milk bank so that a mother who is struggling with nursing and can’t produce enough to sustain her child can use it, or a parent of an adopted child can provide the baby with the vital nutrients of mother’s milk? But – sigh – to each their own. Literally.
To read more, go here.
Photo credit: http://www.miriamsimun.com