Breast Milk Ice Cream A Hit At London Store

February 25, 2011

Bill Chappell

Anyone pining for some ice cream in London now has an unusual option to consider: ice cream made from mothers' breast milk. The Icecreamists shop has made headlines for using milk from as many as 15 women to make its new "Baby Gaga" flavor.

The rare offering proved a hit with customers at the Covent Garden store — the first batch sold out within days of being introduced. A serving of Baby Gaga, which is reportedly flavored with vanilla and lemon zest, goes for 14 pounds — or about $22.50.

The milk came from women found on an Internet advertisement. And the folks at Icecreamists say all the milk "was screened in line with hospital/blood donor requirements."

In an interview for British TV, store founder Matt O'Connor says, "It's pure, it's natural, it's organic, and it's free range — and if it's good enough for our kids, it's good enough to use in our ice cream." Watch the video here:

The case reminded me of the Eats on Feets campaign, which started out on Facebook after a breastfeeding mother sought ways to put her surplus milk to use. Teaming up with a like-minded activist, the movement has spread — and now includes Antarctica, according to the EoF Facebook page. Emma Kwasnica, one of the women behind Eats on Feets, was interviewed by NPR member station KOPN — for its Momma Rap program. (click "Podcasts" to hear the interview

The U.S. FDA is a bit leery of using "donor human milk." On its website, it explains why:

Risks for the baby include exposure to infectious diseases, including HIV, to chemical contaminants, such as some illegal drugs, and to a limited number of prescription drugs that might be in the human milk, if the donor has not been adequately screened. In addition, if human milk is not handled and stored properly, it could, like any type of milk, become contaminated and unsafe to drink.

Still, the FDA isn't categorically against sharing breastmilk. It points people to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America as a good source of information and possible contacts. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.