Breast milk is for babies… right?

In “Sour Attitudes toward Breast Milk,” Julie’s Health Club explores why we find the idea of anyone except babies drinking breast milk to be repulsive, but totally normal for people of all ages to drink the milk of cows, sheep, and goats. “Why are we so freaked out by breast milk?” she askes. Good question.

Japan’s drinkable cheese has been called an “exciting new beverage concept,” but it’s nothing compared to this French delicacy I recently thought I found on the Internet: gourmet cheese crafted from human breast milk.

Though I’ve breast-fed two children, my reflexive reaction—yuck!—was probably similar to yours. And when I e-mailed the “breast-milk cheese” link to friends, reactions included “OMG!” and “That’s the most disgusting subject line I’ve seen in a long time.”

But as one Health Clubber mentioned, imagine the marketing potential: Organic grass-fed human breast-milk cheese could be the ultimate Whole Foods product, as long as the women aren’t housed on factory farms or given artificial hormones to increase milk production and everything is certified.

Breast milk, meanwhile, is nature’s perfect functional food, something the formula industry keeps trying in vain to replicate. It’s not just intensely rich in antibodies, vitamins and other nutrients; it also has been shown to boost a baby’s intelligence, help prevent infections and possibly help fight asthma, obesity and high cholesterol.

Moreover, breast milk contains the precise kinds and amounts of fats and proteins our bodies need, making it inherently more digestible and nutritious than cow’s milk.

Sadly, just when I started to think Mama’s Num Num Cheese was a brilliant idea, I learned the Web site was fictitious.

I should have known. Breast milk is so obviously for infants, not adults.

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But it is a little strange that most of us consider cow’s milk to be “normal,” and breast milk “disgusting.” Those who are a little more open-minded, meanwhile, such as Samantha Mix, 40, of Batavia, have discovered that scrambled eggs can have a velvety quality.

“I am sure the high and pure quality of the milk fat is what makes the eggs velvety and light as a feather,” said Mix, who has nursed two children and likes to add her own breast milk to scrambled eggs. She also plans to comb garage sales this summer to find a yogurt maker. Her plan is to use up the three gallons of breast milk she has in the freezer.

I don’t know about you, but I guess I’m just not that progressive.  Sure, I breastfed my daughter until she was two and now I’m breastfeeding my son.  But the thought of eating yogurt made out of my own breast milk is just… well… disgusting.

Then there’s the “America’s Next Top Model” contestant who drank her own breast milk. She’d been pumping in order to keep her supply flowing so she could continue feeding her infant daughter when she returned home from the show.  “I drank my breast milk only during audition week because I did not want to waste it after putting all my effort into making and extracting it. Dumping milk just seems wrong,” Claire said, adding that at one point she was drinking two or three glasses of breast milk a day. “A mother’s milk is like liquid gold, so I also wanted the nutritional value back and to keep my immunity up.”

To each his own!

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