In the News: Ice Cream Made from Breast Milk?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Would you want to eat ice cream made of human breast milk instead of cow’s milk? People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is asking Ben and Jerry’s to begin using breast milk in its products instead of cow's milk, saying it would reduce the suffering of cows and calves and give ice cream lovers a healthier product.

PETA representatives contend that cow’s milk is hazardous and milking them is cruel. They contend that using breast milk would allow those with dairy allergies to eat the product and also provides other health benefits vs. cow’s milk. However, they do recognize the implausibility of substituting breast milk for cow's milk, but said it's no stranger than humans consuming the milk of another species.

While Ben and Jerry’s commends PETA for bringing attention to an issue they feel strongly about, they have no plans to consider making this kind of change. The La Leche League agrees that although it’s an interesting idea, cow’s milk and breast milk are not interchangeable. They also feel that’s best to reserve breast milk for babies.

When my daughter was nursing, I used to donate to a milk bank that would use my excess supply for premature babies. But I don’t know that I would have been willing to donate if I knew the milk was going to make someone’s ice cream cone instead. Although the idea is a pretty big stretch (and I’m sure PETA realized that when they suggested it), it’s a good way to get publicity for an issue they feel strongly about.

Do you agree?

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Well, ya know, the cow's milk used to make ice cream is "breast milk" for the baby calf!
MooooooOOOving right along... I was one of those blessed to have the help I needed to produce enough milk for my baby boy but I think if I was doing it over and had excess, I'd be pumping and donating the excess to other baby humans who really needed it. I'm not really all that concerned about PETA because, well just because... I agree that factory produced cow's milk is not ethical but I'm okay with drinking milk from grass-fed, free range local farms that raise their happy cows. So anyway, it sounds like we're all barking up various trees, some of them actually relevant to the point (eating ice cream made with human breast milk).. And as for the flavor of human breast milk tasting like cantaloupe etc, well, it actually varies depending on what Mum was eating!! or drinking!! If I was eating healthy, it had a tasty mild sweet taste. If I had too many sweets myself, my breast milk was very sweet. At one point, I went nuts and ate an entire pan (had to be at least a 9x9 or maybe 9x13 inch pan's worth of mail order brownies) - it was sooo long since I'd been able to eat chocolate because it didn't agree with me during my pregnancy. So when I ate all that, and the next time I was nursing my baby, I could SMELL the chocolate odor through my milk, and my son just went to town on that milk!! When he got done, he had this dazed glazed look that I guess only a person who has just drank a pan's worth of brownie infused milk could ever have. So maybe I was a "bad mommy" (and is it any wonder my son LOVES chocolate these days...)? Report
What bothers me the most is that PETA seems to think this treatment is horrible for cows, but ok for humans. I suppose we could try ice cream from soy milk, unless they think that would be inhumane to soy beans. lol Report
Alright. Let's just talk here like we don't know much. "My mom said that mothers milk tastes like canteloupe." 'Let's picture canteloupe flavored or coconut ice cream.' "There. How's that??" Report
Please though: for all the times we've counted on PETA, honest to say: they're evil and don't like seeing eye dogs. The ASPCA maybe and we're an 'animal' anyway lol!!!!!
= Report
It would probably end up being organic college and hospital women and The Red Cross and people from ice cream 'restaurants.' They'd end up using it for all hospital babies and more that needed to grow. How are we going to wait 9 months either and make sure that it's women that can have babies?? Uh...Maybe God knows but I don't know. Uh, should we just find a way to put colostrum in any kind of milk or ice cream without killing animals (of course)?? I don't know that colostrum comes out after a certain amount of time though. I deliberately think so and maybe for some mothers it does, but honest to say: my mom and sister don't think so. Lactoferrin though, um..... don't give it up honestly. Report
I do see two problems. Supply and regulation. You cannot keep women pent up and regulate their diet to be sure that they have maximum nutrition and do not pass unwanted contaminents through their breastmilk. I had to make that hard decision when I had my little one and despite a lot of hard work I could not produce milk. Its becoming more and more of a problem in our country, so supply of breast milk is going way down and as someone posted earlier, should be available only to those babies who absolutely need it. Its not a gross idea. Its just that human breast milk is such a precious thing that making it into ice cream would be a waste. Report
This is just strange. Report
Just shows how really twisted and disturbed the moonbats at PETA are. Report
hehheheehehe I almost want to try it. Report
the thought of consuming another woman's breast milk is oogie lol... tell them to put breast milk in their ice cream and leave us normal people to our cow milk. Big dummies! Report
That is the dumbest most potentially INHUMANE thing ... peta are psychotics. Report
I like what MAROSES said. Breastmilk doesn't guarantee an alergy free milk. If the mom eats peanuts, it will be in the milk. Medications taken by women often cause them to stop breastfeeding because it would be harmful to the baby. I also pumped milk for 2 of my kids, and found it a reassuring way to provide what is breast for my kids, when they didn't nurse properly yet, or had to have a supplement in the NICU. I don't think it is gross for any human to consume breast milk, but it is for babies. Why does the milk production start only after a woman has a baby? Tell me the answer to that question. I think PETA is just trying to cause a stir, and they don't really mean what they are suggesting. It's just a way to get people to take notice. Report
I'm not sure why it's considered disgusting to drink milk from another human being, but normal to drink milk from an animal of a completely different species.

So you are unwilling to drink milk from an unknown woman? She might be diseased or unhealthy? Or are you disgusted by the sexual overtones our society puts on breastfeeding? You think drinking breastmilk is somehow equivalent to a sexual encounter?

What does that say about our willingness to drink cow milk? How many of you who say "ew" to human milk would stick your face under a cow and suck on her teat?

The purpose of this suggestion is not necessarily to promote non-dairy alternatives like soy, and it is not *just* to shock and offend. The purpose of this proposal is to make people think.

Of course PETA doesn't want "breastmilk farms" setup with eternally pregnant women lined up on hard wooden benches, their breasts connected to giant milk extractors for 30 minutes every two hours. The point is, they don't want something like this for cows either.

Have you ever seen the dairys kept by big milk companys? The cows wallow day after day, udder deep in their own filth. You can smell them for miles. These are not happy, stress-free animals.

It is not natural for any mammal (even humans) to include milk in their adult diet. Ask any veterinarian and they will tell you not to give milk, or any dairy products, to your cat or dog. It's also not natural for a mammal of one species to drink the milk of another species. Oh, it can save a life, no doubt. When an infant is orphaned, substitute moms of different species are invaluable, but the milk of a foreign species can only approximate the value of the orphan's mother's milk.

Babies should drink milk of their own species. And once out of toddlerhood, they should be weaned from milk entirely and start eating an adult diet. Report
This is crazy. Breast milk is MEANT for babies. It's fat content is SO high that we'd be adding in SO many extra calories to the already fattening ice cream., this is just wrong. LOL

Why don't they just use free-range cows w/out hormones, etc?

LOL idiots. Report
I'd like to say that PETA means well by making these suggestions but I think they just like to elicit these types of responses from people. I admit that I asked many of the same questions as you all did when I first heard this story, and as a working mom I feel like I can personally (or if you prefer PETA's term bovinely) relate to dairy cows being "pumped," HOWEVER I still think PETA's PR department is more of a Public Reaction rather than Public Relations sort. Report
Seriously- this was an example to get people to look at the absurdness of enjoying milk period. What about dog milk? Why? Cow milk seems natural to us because we were raised with it, just as it would seem natural if we had been raised on human breast milk. We think that cows are our property, and we can dominate them in any way we want, because that is the way we were raised. We may as passionately protect our rights to slaves if this blog were written in the 1800s. Today, most thinking people understand the irrational logic that propagated the minds of slave owners in the past. PETA makes a good point for people to ponder if they will. It’s easy to poke fun at or ignore PETA because of their reputation and then not look at what they are saying. But I think that the overwhelming, fervent reaction to this article may be our attempt to justify and rationalize way of being that intrinsically is borne of guilt and repression. If we take a serious look at the way “our food” is obtained, then we may want to seriously consider all of our options. The agricultural association has spent millions on advertising to convince our Collective American Unconsciousness’ that Meat and dairy is necessary to our survival. Any sophomoric investigation into this fallacy will create surprising and life changing returns. But then again, who wants to change their whole lives? It’s much easier to call people names and continue on in the manner which is the most comfortable, after all. Report
instead of dairy farms with cows, we will have boobie farms with women.
what an irrational suggestion. Report
"they do recognize the implausibility of substituting breast milk for cow's milk, but said it's no stranger than humans consuming the milk of another species."

So... if we decided to start eating other humans... would that be any stranger than eating animals? This article is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. Report
Meh. You lost me at PETA, what a bunch of whackjobs. If you feel bad for the poor pitiful cows (I'm being sarcastic here) then YOU don't consume cow related products, don't force your ideals on the rest of us. Report
I don't really understand the point...I nursed for 14 months and pumped nonstop... I guess I feel that if I could pump 4 times a day how is it cruel for a cow to be milked 2 a day. same concept...I think for any woman who has ever pumped their milk, this idea that it is cruel to milk a cow is lost on us. So I guess I have to thank PETA for making me realize how it isn't cruel to milk a cow...And as for the depends on what the woman is eating, I had to change my diet because of my sons allergies to my milk when I nursed him. We would have a very hard time controlling peoples diets and medicination and what not that can be harmful to others...we can control a cows diet Report
This may be a way to curb unemployment or allow moms to stay at home longer with their babies. They can sell their milk to Ben & Jerry's. Breast milk is naturally very sweet, it may reduce the caloric value of the ice cream. Report
Reading back through the comments I can see PETAs point. Would there be milking banks? Women lined up being milked? LIKE COWS??? That is so preposterous to us because cows are treated and milked inhumanely. If we wouldnt do it to ourselves, we shouldnt do it to them. Im not part of peta in any way but I can see where they were going with us. I still stand my ground on NO milk being natural. Milk is made as food for babies, not adults. Report
I dont know why everyone thinks breastmilk is so gross. It is a food specifically made for humans and has ridiculous amounts of nutrients. I know a cancer patient that is drinking it to help fight her cancer because of the benefits. I personally think it is weird that we drink food made for babies of other species. Im not saying it is a good idea, since we cant have women sitting and pumping for the amount of milk they would need, but I certainly dont think it is 'gross'. Report
That sounds rediculously fattening... Report
Are they out of their minds!! leave it to PETA to come up with something so absurd. Report
Furballdth - you are so right. LOL indeed. Heck I bet some other species would think it strange too, that adult humans don't drink their own milk. That is if they had the same capasity as us.

I'd be willing to at-least give it a try, depending upon the donor. Sounds like something interesting. Granted I do agree with those whom have said that PETA mainly does stuff just for publicity. Some things that they propose, YEESH!!! Get a brain people. Report
what a wonderful way to make your company go bankrupt.


breast milk is good for the babies....and probably us but EW. I can picture a 'milking station'. Report
Wow, I can't say as this is very appealing to me. Why would anyone want to eat ice cream made with breast milk...some random stranger's breast milk at that! Report
What will they think of next?! I agree with so many of the other posts -- eeeuuu, I would never touch it again, and what are they thinking...makes them sound crazier than they already are. Breast milk is for babies, not for icecream. Report
PETA loves to make crazy statement to get attention. It works! Report
ok, that is a bit rediculous, i'm sorry! animals were put on the earth to provide food for us. our bodies need the nutrients from cows, chickens, fish, pigs, and all kinds of plants. and those nutrients, bytheway, keep a woman's breast milk healthy for the little ones. PETA takes things too far if you ask me. Report
Why didn't they suggest soy milk? Report
Ok, how wierd is that! Can't they ask for non-dairy alternatives instead? We are pretty much the only animal that drinks milk past toddlerhood anyways - and not even our own species' milk! Why promote using a precious resource like breast milk for junk food?!? Report
My initial reaction was revulsion. I'm glad that I was able to breast feed my son when he was an infant. There are many health benefits to breast feeding. So I think breast milk should be reserved for babies and not used to make commercial ice cream. I think a better alternative for PETA to consider would be ice cream made from soy milk. I have tried it and it tasted good. Anyway PETA is very clever by proposing using human breast milk. It seems to me to be a ploy just to get publicity. Well it worked, it got my attention. Report
Peta must be having a real problem if they cannot see that breast milk should be given to babies and there are so many starving babies around this world...
I don't think those cows are suffering that much...give me a break... Report
I wouldn't use it either but I do see the irony in thinking it is revolting when we give it to our precious infants! Report
ewu...thanks but NO THANKS.... Report
Great idea to lose weight...I would never eat ice cream again. Yuk!!! Report
i agree-crazy Report
I agree with FAIRYGHOST - PETA seems to be exagerating to make a point, but are turning people off instead... and losing credibility with the public. Report
did they think about the diseases that can be passed thru breast milk? ugh Report
Pa-leeese! Report
Are you kidding me!!! LOL NO WAY!!! Report
Ah, that's just nasty. Report
I can see their point about the treatment of dairy cows, but at the same time, I would NOT feel like eating ice cream (or any such product) made of breast milk would be an ethically sound decision either. There are sooooooo many babies both in the US and abroad who could benefit from having access to breast milk, and it would literally be a life-saving blessing for many of these babies. I would honestly hate to see perfectly good breast milk go to something as frivolous as ice cream since there is a young baby somewhere that desperately needs it. If I wanted to do something to show concern for the animals, I'd rather just eat a vegan dessert or choose a product which uses milk from smaller/ethical farms. Report
I don't drink milk because I can't stand the taste of it and I eat ice cream maybe once or twice a year because I'm lactose intolerant, but bring on some cheese! As someone whose family have been farmers for generations, it's crazy that people think it's inhumane to milk a cow. My grandfather took as good a care of his cows as he did his kids because that was a source of his income, so did my cousins who were farmers. I'm sure there are some farmers/ranchers who don't treat them well, as there are people who don't treat their pets well, but I would hope the majority are treated well. I think PETA should spend more time trying to help with world hunger or something like that. Obviously none of the PETA members know that much about breast milk or they would realize that what the mother eats and any medications, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. affects the taste of breast milk. Report
not only no! but heck no!!! I would NEVER eat ice cream made of human breast milk! Save it for the babies... Report
I'd bet there are as many diseases passed on through mother's milk as that from cows which is why pasteurization and other procedures occur. There would have to be 20 years of research before this thought would ever get to the store shelf and I doubt many women would subscribe to this, even if the pay was excellent! Let's see: PETA...........isn't that the anacronym for PEOPLE EATING TASTY! Report
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