Human Cheese: When Breast Milk Isn't Just for Babies

Kim Conte

cheeseHuman cheese may sound revolting, but it's not meant for shock value. Rather, it's meant to be a natural, healthy, local, ethical, and sustainable food source -- that is, if people can find a way to stomach it.

A woman in New York has embarked on an ambitious -- and perhaps controversial -- project: making cheese out of human breast milk. Mirium Simun is well-aware that consuming breast milk when you aren't a baby is taboo in our current culinary landscape.

However, she wonders if consuming our own milk is perhaps more natural and healthy than harvesting and consuming other species milk -- humans are the only animal that does this (and often not very ethically).

To her, human cheese is just like any other unique food product that has yet to go mainstream. And so far, she has a variety of cheese selections to choose from. Let's take a look, shall we?

The following cheese selections are made by blending human milk and animal (goat, cow, etc.) milk. However, Simun has a 100 percent human cheese in development, so stay tuned for that:

Sweet Airy Equity -- A mild, hard, crumbly cheese made from the milk of a young Chinese mother living in Manhattan and a cow living in the Catskills.

Wisconsin Bang -- A spicy creamy cheese made from the milk of a Vermont mountain goat and a Wisconsin lawyer's assistant.

City Funk -- A stinky cheese (similar to Gorgonzola) made mostly from the milk of a Manhattan mother blended with a little goat's milk.

So how have people been reacting to the project so far? Here Simun explains:

Everything from ‘this is such a great idea’ to ‘this is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.’ Overall, response has been pretty overwhelmingly positive, which I didn’t really expect ... it’s great to know that I’m not too off base with human cheese -- in some ways, I’m just bringing a niche food product to the mainstream. Kind of like caviar.

Caviar, indeed.

Would you eat human cheese?

Image via JacobEnos/Flickr

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