Breast-milk ice cream: Test before you taste?

A $22 scoop of ice cream served in a martini glass in the U.K. ignites a global debate over which is crazier: to consume or not to consume the breast milk of one's own species.

In February, the uber trendy Icecreamists boutique in London began serving a scoop of ice cream straight from the supple breasts of London mother Victoria Hiley. Her milk was screened at what parlor founder Matt O'Connor calls a "leading medical clinic" before being pasteurized and served in a martini glass with lemon zest and vanilla pods for 14 pounds, or about $22.50.

The Icecreamists boutique in London's Covent Garden offers up such treats as The Infamous Sexbomb, The Molotoffee Cocktail, and, for about a week in February, Baby Gaga. The Icecreamists

Not for long. News of the unusual dessert, dubbed Baby Gaga, swept across the Interwebs, and when two people complained to Westminster Council (perhaps notably, both were men), officers removed the product from the parlor's self-described Lick Your Addiction Rehab Room & Treatment Center, citing the need to test the product and ensure that it is "fit for human consumption."

Specifically, Westminster Councilman Brian Connell tells the BBC: "Selling foodstuffs made from another person's bodily fluids can lead to viruses being passed on, and, in this case, potentially hepatitis. As the local authority we will support small businesses and applaud innovative ideas wherever possible, but must protect the health of consumers."

In the U.S., however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that while HIV-positive women should not breast-feed their children, no special precautions are necessary when handling breast milk, and "the Universal Precautions to prevent the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Hepatitis B virus, and other bloodborne pathogens do not apply to human milk."

Several apps have sprung up of late that deal in some way with breast milk, including the Breast Milk Alcohol Content Calculator to determine milk alcohol content for nursing mothers. Surely in the midst of this latest hullabaloo, there may soon be an app for those who'd like to try ice cream from a human source but test it first.

Meanwhile, Icecreamists' O'Connor is storming the Twitter gates, linking to every mention of the confiscation he can find, and sprinkling a few of his own original thoughts throughout, including this gem: "All milk rig screened at clinic. If bad for ice cream, bad for babies - close London's Milk Banks!"

About the author

Elizabeth Armstrong Moore is based in Portland, Oregon, and has written for Wired, The Christian Science Monitor, and public radio. Her semi-obscure hobbies include climbing, billiards, board games that take up a lot of space, and piano.

 

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