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A question for breastfeeding experts

(21 Posts)
Elasticwoman Sat 18-Oct-08 11:57:31

Why isn't human milk ever used to make dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt etc? There is a huge long list of other mammals whose milk is processed, but as a world resource, human milk seems to be under-used, and in many cases wasted.

I once asked a pathologist this question and he said that human milk was of inferior quality. I can't believe that. (A pathologist is a doctor without the bedside manner to see live patients.)

Can it be cultural? I can't see why we should be fussy about exploitation, when prostitution of women's bodies in the sex industry has existed for ever and a day.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sat 18-Oct-08 12:17:57

1- because women would have to be milked like cows

2- there is a shortage of bm for prem babies in milk banks - more important?

3 - people are squeamish

Penthesileia Sat 18-Oct-08 12:20:12

I'm not an expert, but I think I can answer your question (assuming you're being serious, of course...).

Imagine a whole line of lactating mothers hooked up like this. shock

The logistics, my friend. The logistics. Just think how much milk would be necessary.


NotDoingTheHousework Sat 18-Oct-08 12:21:17

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AnotherNameForMyself Sat 18-Oct-08 12:24:15

AIDs risk also.

tiktok Sat 18-Oct-08 12:38:22

Human milk does not have the right sort of protein to make cheese and other dairy products very easily - nothing to do with quality ( what a stupid thing to if 'quality' was only judged on whether you can make yoghurt from it).

It can be done, though, I think, with the addition of other products.

But the 'harvesting' of it on a commercialor industrial scale would be de-humanising.

LadyOfRoffle Sat 18-Oct-08 13:40:34

I have often wondered why they don't sell EBM like formula... I meanI know some reasons why they don't.

Mij Sat 18-Oct-08 16:13:55

I think there's also a fat issue. I'm sure someone will put me right here, but I believe you can make very basic cheese with it but not a capaccino, as the fat content is what makes cows milk froth so well!

But don't ask me where I read it - can't remember and could be bolloxs of course. hmm

That bonkers C4 programme 'other peole's breastmilk' certain had some breastmilk cream on it...

No reason why you couldn't try at home grin

AbricotsSecs Sat 18-Oct-08 16:24:42

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AbricotsSecs Sat 18-Oct-08 16:29:11

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AbricotsSecs Sat 18-Oct-08 16:37:00

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AbricotsSecs Sat 18-Oct-08 16:38:40

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TexasChainsawMoussaka Sat 18-Oct-08 16:56:21

IMO it'd taste grim as well - human milk is way too sweet. I cannot drink black coffee so I improvised when we ran out of milk. Tasted like it had about 10 sugars in it, was vile. Maybe if you like really sweet cheese wink

Elasticwoman Sat 18-Oct-08 20:56:50

I don't see why it needs be done on an industrial scale - how about cottage industry?

Can't do it myself, not lactating any more.

People are squeamish? All sorts of weird and wonderful things are eaten all over the world - insects, sheep's eyes etc. It's a question of how hungry you are and what you're used to.

BM too sweet? Would be good for dessert products then, which often have tons of sugar added if made from cows' milk.

If it's dehumanising for women to express some milk to be collected up and processed into some more solid form, does it debovinise cows, ungoat goats, dis-ovinate sheep, give camels the hump ......

notcitrus Sat 18-Oct-08 21:02:18

you'd have to inbreed people for generations to get the ones with lots of extra milk, as was done to domesticate the other species.

Can't see people going for it.

theyoungvisiter Sat 18-Oct-08 21:17:47

well for that matter why don't we have rabbit milk cheese, or kangeroo milk yohurt, or beaver milk icecream?

Because it's not practical to do on an industrial scale and the market would be vanishingly small.

There is a "market" for EBM (apparently body builders drink it?!) but this rests mostly on using it in as un-processed a state as possible - making it into cheese etc would kind of defeat the point.

Elasticwoman Sat 18-Oct-08 21:41:22

That's interesting about body builders. I'm sure it does them more good than steroids.

tiktok Sun 19-Oct-08 11:57:49

It's not dehumanising to process breastmilk - not at all! Do what you like with it! It would be dehumanising for it to be done on a commercial and industrial scale (mass milking parlours and stuff....).

I think I am right in saying that the substance valued and used by body builders, and bought in health stores, is colostrum, but it is bovine colostrum, fortunately

I have never heard of body builders using breastmilk. But maybe I am loving a sheltered life

tiktok Sun 19-Oct-08 12:20:21

loving = living


theyoungvisiter Sun 19-Oct-08 21:55:02

well I am not a body builder (fortunately) but a friend who is told me that some very hardcore body builders drink the stuff - apparently it's very sought after! It's supposed to be extremely well-balanced or something.

theyoungvisiter Sun 19-Oct-08 22:23:41

don't worry - I love my sheltered life too wink

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