We've seen it used in specialty cheeses, in lotions, and popsicles for the kids. We know it is nature's true and finest 'cure-all' - a real medicinal wonder for everything from acne to cancer. But this may be the first time human milk is used in a posh ice cream parlor, being sold as a delicacy for patrons. (The idea has, however, has surfaced before when groups like PETA urged Ben & Jerry's to use human milk instead of cow's milk for their ice cream concoctions).
This past Thursday, Icecreamists, in London's trendy Covet Garden district, became the first to serve customers their new ice cream, playfully titled, "Baby Gaga." The first 50 servings were made with milk donated from U.K. mom, Victoria Hiley. Thirty-five year old, Hiley, is mom to one child from Leeds in Northern England, and her 30 ounces were the foundation for this new line of ice cream.
Hiley says that when she first saw the advertisement on the parenting website, Mumsnet, seeking donor milk for ice cream, she wasn't sure if it was real or not. "I saw the advertisement offering to pay women to donate breastmilk on a forum and it made me laugh. There were so many comments and people were having a debate on whether it could be genuine. So I thought I'd find out."
Professionally, Hiley serves new moms as a lactation consultant. "I teach women how to get started on breastfeeding their babies," she says. "There's very little support for women and every little bit helps. I'm passionate about the good that breastfeeding does for babies." Hiley also believes it is possible that if adults realize how good human milk actually is, new mothers would be more willing to breastfeed their own newborns. "You can kid yourself that [your milk] is a healthy ice cream! But it is very nice - it really melts in the mouth. And what could be more natural than fresh, free-range mother's milk in an ice cream?"
The unique Baby Gaga ice cream is made by blending human milk with Madagascan vanilla pods and lemon zest.
Icecreamists founder, Matt O'Connor, 44, is confident his new flavor will go over well with customers. "The Baby Gaga tastes creamy and rich. No one's done anything interesting with ice cream in the last hundred years. We've came up with a method of infusing ice-cream with [human] milk. We wanted to completely reinvent it. And by using [human] milk we've definitely given it a 100% makeover. It's just one of a dozen radical new flavors we've invented. We want to change the way people think about ice cream."
O'Connor adds, "Some people will hear about it and go, 'yuck,' but actually it is pure, organic, and totally natural." And he does have a point... which is more 'normal' to drink: the milk artificially collected from the 'breasts' of a 4-legged, hoofed, hairy animal who poos by her utters? Or the clean, fresh milk made for our own species. Granted, no one past the age of natural human weaning needs the milk of any mammal (and there is ample evidence that we may be better off without other mammals' milks), but if you're going to consume milk anyway, it may just be better to have it be that which was made for your own species.
Icecreamists sells the new Baby Gaga ice cream for £14 ($22.50) per serving. And this is not your typical ice cream parlor. If you order the ice cream, you'll likely have it delivered to your table by a costumed Baby Gaga waitress who brings the ice cream in a martini glass. Liquid nitrogen will be poured into your glass through a syringe, and the dish served to you with a rusk. Or, if you prefer, you may order the Baby Gaga flavor with whiskey or another cocktail of your choice.
Icecreamists pays £15 ($24) for every 10 ounces of donated milk from mothers in the area, and has already had 15 individual donors. In order to maintain the highest standard of quality for their ice cream, women donating milk must pass the same blood screening tests used by U.K.'s National Health Service for blood donors. Hiley notes, "It wasn't intrusive at all to donate. Just a simple blood test." O'Connor believes the new delicacy will be a success, "If it's good enough for children, it's good enough for us."
Victoria Hiley, first to donate for the new Baby Gaga ice cream recipe
Vote in today's Yahoo Poll: Would you try this ice cream?
The Icecreamists' Website: http://www.theicecreamists.com/
Have milk to donate? Consider helping another baby in need.