Animal rights group Peta have approached one of the largest and most recognised ice cream producers in the world - Ben & Jerry’s - asking them to use human breast milk in their ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s do currently have some radical sounding flavour names at present - Phish Food anyone? But the unconventional names are just that - names - the actual ice cream still contains all the normal gooey gorgeousness of ingredients such as chocolate, nuts and fruit. The company would be hard pressed to find a market for the ethically sourced breast milk ice cream.
Peta claims using human breast milk would be a two pronged effect- first of all they cite the nutritional value of breast milk, and secondly it highlights the benefits it would have on the dairy cow’s welfare.
Peta recently wrote to Ben & Jerry’s founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield to display an example of the unorthodox ingredient being used elsewhere in the catering industry. Swiss chef, Hans Locher is planning to make sauces and soups using 75% of the human white stuff to serve in his restaurant. He has even gone so far as to advertise in local villages, asking women to donate their milk at a rate of £3 per 14 ounces (398 ml). That’s a lot of pumping for not a lot of dough!
“Using cows’ milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customers’ health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months,”
Cohen and Greenfield’s response was as expected (thankfully). Although they are known for their ethical and eco-friendly credentials - they set up a “Climate Change College” which encourages environmentally friendly action in dairy farming using the motto “Milking happy Cows, Not the Planet” - they rejected the idea outright, saying,
“We applaud [the group's] novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother’s milk is best used for her child,”
A difficulty perhaps not fully thought through by Peta is that of supply. Mr Locher has been unable to source enough breast milk for production - one tub of 500ml ice cream alone is made up of 50% breast milk. Does Peta suggest human farming should replace dairy? I think not.
Dairy farmers have angrily spoken out against the suggestion, saying it is undermining the industry. The industry is already struggling to cope with falling prices and the increase in popularity of non-dairy alternatives such as soy milk. The Dairy Council’s director, Dr Judith Bryans says the idea that consuming dairy milk is hazardous to your health is unfounded.
“Dairy foods have been in the diet for thousands of years. The reality of chronic diseases is that they are an interaction between genes, the environment and the diet, and these negative stories about dairy are a misrepresentation of science.”
So ice-cream lovers, don’t start stocking up on the dairy stuff just yet. It seems Peta have a long way to go before they convince the world we should be consuming human breast milk in the name of animal welfare.
Peta is going out of its mind. It will do any thing to stop people from drinking the milk of goats and cows. Where the hell would all the breastmilk comre from to fill the trucks of Icecream sold by the stores. I believe people keep eating Cow milo ice cream or if they want to eat the goat milk ice cream they join the goat milk group
I'm sure people will keep milking Goats and cows no matter what Peta and Vegans say or do. I'm doing my best so that people have access to animal milk. That is why I've created the group. I hope people will join it.