For those who found Baby Gaga breast milk ice cream repulsive, you have won. The ice cream, which went on sale last Friday for $23, has been confiscated by local authorities for potential health violations.
Local officials took the ice cream made with human breast milk away from the ice cream shop in Covent Garden in London after they received two complaints questioning whether a shop should be selling edibles made from other people's bodily fluids. The city council is awaiting guidance from Britain's Food Standards Agency.
It seemed like it was only a matter of time, but it was nice(ish) while it lasted. Icecreamists founder Matt O'Connor was angry and told Fox News that he was unaware of any law that prohibited the sale of breast milk ice cream. He said:
Our donor was screened at a leading medical clinic, and then the ice cream mix is fully pasteurized. We have had a fantastic response, and 200 women have come forward and offer[ed] to give us milk.
The deal O'Connor offered was this: lactating mothers are paid about £15 ($24) for every 10 ounces of breast milk (about two pumping sessions or one full morning one). Suppliers were required to undergo the same health checks used by the UK's National Health Service to screen blood donors.
Concern is focusing primarily on hepatitis viruses, but O'Connor says that is ridiculous. My question is this: do they worry about the health of the cows before they are milked to produce most mainstream ice cream?
Now, yes, the notion that women are like cows is worrisome. Any breastfeeding mom (especially one who is also pumping) can tell you they already feel enough like a dairy bar to last a lifetime, but people should be able to eat and drink whatever they want within reason. This smacks of just one more way breastfeeding is viewed as disgusting by the masses.
As in: "Well it's fine for a baby, but kind of gross to share it in any way." I get that attitude to a certain extent, but I would wager that our discomfort with Baby Gaga has less to do with legitimate health worries and much more to do with deeply set notions about proper behavior and judgement.
In short, it grosses people out. They think of breast milk like they think of urine or poo or even blood. I say we need to get past those ideas. If you are willing to drink non-organic cow's milk, then you are opening yourself to a host of weird hormones and treated milk that may or may not even be good for humans, but because it's the norm, you drink it with no questions. To me, the idea that anything I would give my baby would be too gross for me (or my friend) to drink is the really weird notion.
Do you think it should have been pulled?
Image via NickPiggott/Flickr