by Marion Nestle
Mar 1 2011

Oh those Brits: now breastmilk ice cream

FoodQualityNews reports that the British Food Standards Agency (FSA) is all upset about ice cream made from breast milk.

Eeks.  It might violate food safety standards!

The Baby Gaga breastmilk ice cream is sold by a London firm called The Icecreamists.  The company has been forced to withdraw Baby Gaga in response to complaints that it might not be safe for human consumption.

The milk comes from 15 moms.  It is screened prior to sale, in part because breast milk can pass on things like hepatitis.

But nowhere in this account does it say whether the milk was pasteurized or how the ice cream tastes.  I want to know!

  • Colin

    Interesting to see the issue of breast milk ice cream come back. Lets not forget PETA’s 2008 petition to Ben & Jerry’s urging them to replace cow’s milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk.

    I personally like Ben & Jerry’s response: “We applaud PETA’s novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother’s milk is best used for her child.”

  • The idea, I think, was to challenge taboos around breastfeeding and also highlight the hypocrisy of humans drinking milk intended for the babies of other species, but finding it repulsive to drink milk intended for the babies of our species.

    I’m not sure why it would need to be pasteurised if it was fresh. Freezing is a perfectly adequate means of preservation. As for other safety concerns, as long as it has been screened for diseases I would have thought it is one of the healthiest things you could eat – full of antibodies and nutrients intended to help vulnerable new life

    As for the taste, I refer you to this post:

  • Though actually, I’ve just read that it was pasteurised.

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  • Ade

    Ah yes, our adorable, useful, wholly-satisfactory Food Standards Agency. Unhappy about breast-milk ice-cream, but happy to endorse GM food, cloned meat, milk from cloned cows – and to liaise with PepsiCo, McD and the like on how best to shape the nation’s diet…

    I think I’ll stick to eating what I want, how I want, thanks…

  • Haha! Might not be safe for human consumption. That’s precious. Next they’ll start arresting moms for breastfeeding exclusively because their breastmilk might not be safe for human consumption. Actually, I probably shouldn’t give them any ideas.

  • Ahh geez! Now that just sounds really fucking gross. I’m all about breast feeding, but I prefer not eat or drink another or 15 woman’s breast milk. To each his own. Just label it.

  • Agnieszka

    This is normal. Humans only produce milk while they have a baby, so that they can feed that baby. Cows produce milk all the time, so obviously the milk can be used without withholding milk for the calf. I don’t see how this is the same thing.

  • News like this does not bode well with creating a stereotype! Now the world’s gonna think we’re a bunch of wierdos – more so than normal. I definitely cannot see myself requesting this one from a menu anytime soon.

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  • Ric Gene Watson

    Very dangerous. Because the process can be pasteurised but not clinically successful. Findrxonline months ago mentioned in his blog about this case but apparently just the authorities are taking action on the matter. Imagine that the hepatitis propale by a standard of security not established…. would be a chaos.

  • Anthro

    @Brenda and Agnieszka

    It always amazes me that people see something “gross” about human milk that is used in any way other than to feed an infant (a woman was once fired for keeping “body fluids” in the refrigerator at her workplace), but see nothing wrong with slurping down the “body fluid” of another species on a regular basis.

    Cows do NOT make milk “all the time”, but only after the birth of a calve (just like other mammals). The cows are NOT allowed to feed their offspring for more than a very brief period after birth. They are quickly isolated from their mothers so that the cow can be put back into “production”. I live in Wisconsin and if you have any heart at all, you do not want to be in the countryside here when the calves are separated from the cows–the wailing goes on for three days. Some organic farms do a better job of this, but it cannot be completely eliminated–nor can the problem of what to do with all the surplus offspring.

    Vegan, anyone?

  • Anthro

    Oops, I meant “calf” back there, not “calve”


    Marion, I imagine breast milk ice cream would be naturally sweet, as is breast milk. To all you who are grossed out by the milk of your own species, I tasted my milk with each of my four babies and so did my husband. Jeez, get over yourselves. It’s milk–not poop!

  • Subvert

    Another offering to the endless supply of fodder fueling the infantilization of our great human race.

  • Roxanne Rieske


    Are you not aware that before the manufacturing and introduction of formula “wet nursing” was a common occupation for poor mothers, most likely to more affluent families where the wife didn’t want to breastfeed for social reasons. Same as a cow, a human mother can produce breast milk long after giving birth. As long as the milk is being “harvested,” and there is sufficient calorie intake, mammary glands will continue producing milk–no matter the species.

  • Roxanne Rieske

    Oops, previous comment directed at Agnieszka. Not Brenda.

  • Anthro


    Yes, but only if the woman exclusively breast feeds. Once other food is introduced, the milk production declines until it stops altogether. Humans, like any other mammal, have to keep reproducing in order to maintain a steady supply of milk past the stage of exclusive breast milk feeding. Women in slavery usually had the very cruel dilemma of being required to feed the white child before feeding their own offspring, which often resulted in malnutrition for the black child (some can produce enough for two, but that can be more difficult when you add in the work required in addition to the feeding).

  • vermont girl

    Actually Ben & Jerry’s did entertain the idea of a mother’s milk ice cream in the early 1990’s. I believe it was only a test in the flavor lab, and never came to organoleptic fruition.

  • Meghan

    While I personally may have no desire to eat it, it should not be banned. Just labeled well.