Ice cream…and breast milk?

The London ice cream shop Icecreamists debuted a new flavor last week: Baby Gaga, ice cream made of human breast milk mixed with vanilla and lemon zest.

Take a moment to process how gross that is.

Yeah. Gross.

The main argument/point of interest concerning this ice cream is that, in essence, humans aren’t so different from cows or other mammals. All mammals feed their young with milk. And since we drink cow’s milk, what is so different about drinking human milk? After all, we drink our mother’s milk when we’re babies. Right?

Not so much. Yes, we drink our mother’s milk. And in medieval (and other) times, rich mothers would give their babies to wet nurses, so they wouldn’t have to nurse themselves. So humans have, at times, drunk breast milk from women other than their mothers. But after a short period of time, the babies are/were weaned. No one drinks breast milk forever. Not even cows. And those (humans) who do indulge occasionally later in life – well, that’s a sexual fetish. One that is translated, at least somewhat, to this Baby Gaga ice cream. And while it’s fine to indulge in such a fetish in the privacy of your own home with a consenting partner, it’s best to keep it to your home, not on the streets. Or in the ice cream parlor.

Sexual fetishes aside, there are other reasons not to indulge. The 14 pound ($22.50) price tag is one. Another is that the Icecreamists shop touts the breast milk as being “organic and free range.” Other than being hilarious – free range boobs, tell me that’s not funny! – how can the shop back up such a claim? There was a blood test done on each donor, but there is no way the shop can ensure that the donors have never taken antibiotics, drugs, or had some sort of disease. Hepatitis and other diseases can be passed through breast milk. Humans are not regulated the same way cows are. So there is a chance, no matter how small, that the breast milk used is not safe for human consumption.

London authorities agree – earlier today they confiscated the Baby Gaga ice cream. However, Icecreamists reported they had sold out of the flavor on Friday. Maybe the novelty was high enough to attract interest, or the population’s gag reflex is better than I thought it would be. And women have already signed up – online, as they did for the first batch of ice cream – to donate more milk. So we’ll see what happens regarding the next batch. Stay tuned.


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