Produced by real boobies!

>> Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And here, on a lighter note, is something I missed. I was going through entries in my RSS reader (I use Brief for Firefox, because even with its flaws it organizes things the way I like/expect them to be organized), and I ran across this entry on Orac's blog, about how PETA sent an open letter to Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream imploring them to replace cow's milk. With human breast milk. From real human breasts.

Now, I'm sure a common reaction to this would be something thoughtful, like, for instance, "Ewwwwwwwwww!" Of course, this isn't really a rational reaction, or I'm not sure it is. I mean, hey, it's breast milk we're talking about here, not puddle scrapings. I haven't tasted the stuff since I was--well, I'd have to ask my Mom when I was weaned (Mom, feel free to leave a comment). So I have no recollection of what it tastes like, but I have been told that it has what was described, if I recall correctly, as a "melon-ey" taste. I think maybe cantaloupe was mentioned. Anyone else who wants to comment on that, preferably with some sort of expertise on the subject, please do: I'm not saying mother's milk tastes like cantaloupe, only that I seem to recall a conversation--I think it was over a vicious game of Spades back in law school--in which a fellow student... well, let's just skip the story, and merely say that I'm pretty sure a "melon" or "cantaloupe" taste was mentioned, and I have no idea whether that's typical or merely reflects a particular diet; I merely wonder what it would do to chocolate.

The milk, PETA tells us:

Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers-and cows-would reap the benefits.


...which seems like it might work for a restaurant, but one has to wonder if Tracy Reiman, the Executive Vice-President of PETA who wrote the letter, has the faintest idea how many millions of pints Ben & Jerry's ships to various stores across the United States, not to mention all the pints in various supermarkets and groceries around the country. I'm not sure how much milk goes into the racks of Ben & Jerry's I see in the Harris Teeter where I do my shopping, but it seems like an awful lot. And we're not even talking about ice cream on sticks and things like that. A quick trip to the Ben & Jerry's website mentions that the company has a 1000-gallon stainless steel blender. Which is... um... well, I'd ask how many breastfuls of milk that is, except Medline says that human breasts don't actually store very much milk.

And Ben & Jerry's is only one producer of ice cream. What about Häagen-Dazs? Pet? Breyer's? DQ? Get everybody on the breast milk express and... and....

Would it be silly to suggest that PETA's apparent advocacy of factory-farming women for their milk is one of the most thoughtlessly anti-feminist, anti-woman proposals since... since... I don't even know when. I just know it's a bit of frightening image, imagining all these women hooked up to the pumps. Gigeresque, really.

It's a dumb publicity stunt, right? PETA's not serious, right? They can't be. Well, they can, but maybe they're not.

I mean, it is possible they're a bunch of boobies.

8 comments:

John the Scientist Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 10:47:00 AM EDT  

but I have been told that it has what was described, if I recall correctly, as a "melon-ey" taste. I think maybe cantaloupe was mentioned. Anyone else who wants to comment on that, preferably with some sort of expertise on the subject, please do:

Well, I might play a straight-laced right wing nutjob on the Internet, but I've ... done a thing or two. C'mon I'm a scientist, we have to test everything for ourselves, right?

OK, before I get into too much TMI, it tastes somewhat like the sweetened soy milk drinks you buy in Chinese stores. Not really melon-y, but I can see where diet might impact that. :p

It's sweeter even than whole milk, but remember "whole" milk has had stuff taken out of it already. But from what I remember, it's even a bit sweeter than fresh from the cow milk, which I have not had in yeaaaars.

Boobies. Yeah. I will respect PETA when a) Mary Beth Sweetland refuses animal-derived and tested insulin and b) when, instead of throwing paint on rich ladies in fur coats, they try that on leather-wearing Hells Angels. :D

Matt Warnock Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 11:10:00 AM EDT  

Yeah, first reaction = Ewwwwwwwwwwwww.

And I think you're right, there's no way you could get as much milk from a human female as you could from a cow. Plus, how many women would want to keep lactating past the point where they no longer need to for the baby. I know my wife didn't always enjoy it.

I've also, uh, heard it has a sweet taste.

Jeri Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 11:50:00 AM EDT  

Soy rice and almond milk based dairy isn't PC enough for the freeze dried whackaloons at PETA?

Not that Ben and Jerry's makes ice cream with those - but they could, if they wanted to.

The thing that gets me about PETA is that they are news whores. They don't shoot for the practical and sensible, they aim for the insulting and completely unfeasible in order to create controversy and gain exposure.

Except for the buckets of blood, kind of like politicians, aren't they. ;)

Tania Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 12:47:00 PM EDT  

I've been working on my friends to go into the human dairy business for years, first positing it back in high school. Work that stay at home moms could do, easier for people with dietary sensitivities to process, etc. Butter, ice cream, yogurt, etc. An untapped market awaits the eager young entrepreneur!

AND NOW PETA STEALS MY IDEA!! BASTARDS!!

The adults I know compare the flavor to sweetened condensed milk.

Now I need to come up with some other idea to keep people on their toes.

John the Scientist Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 4:22:00 PM EDT  

easier for people with dietary sensitivities to process, etc.

Nope. Much lower milkfat content, much higher lactose content than cow's milk.

Can't make ice cream with it because of the low fat content.

Can't use it in lactose intolerant markets because of the higher lactose concentration.

Eric Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 5:31:00 PM EDT  

Ironically, Tania, John has just highlighted the proper brilliance and place for your idea by pointing out its lack of suitability for an industrial, consumerist society: when civilization collapses in the wake of the current mortgage crisis, a literal cottage industry of human dairy production can emerge in the tiny communal enclaves that dot the post-apocalyptic landscape.

I can just imagine the scene from Mad Max 4: Mel Gibson bursts through the door in his leathers and football padding, half-loaded sawed-off shotgun in hand, and asks the woman inside: "Got milk?"

Jeri Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 5:58:00 PM EDT  

Actually, John, I looked up the milkfat question because I wanted to pose that question and it seems that cow's milk and human milk are both in the 4-5% milkfat range. Of course, my sources may be questionable.

And Eric - please don't abuse my hero Mel that way.

Eric Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 10:20:00 PM EDT  

Strangely enough, I seem to have stumbled across a photograph of Ben & Jerry's new PETA-approved mascot. Keep an eye out for the new pint-cartons arriving on grocers' shelves soon!

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