Casey Jacob, guest barfblogger: Swiss restaurant barred from serving human breast milk

The Swiss restaurant hailed as the inspiration for PETA’s plea to Ben and Jerry’s to replace the cow’s milk in their ice cream with human breast milk is facing legal action if it continues with its plan to use breast milk purchased from new mothers in its soups and sauces.

The public was startled by Hans Loucher’s newspaper advertisements to new mothers to purchase their excess breast milk for $14.50/liter (or about $3.50 per 8oz. baby bottle) for use in his restaurant, the Storchen, whose name ironically refers to a stork in English.

“The mother’s milk is the most natural thing in the world – how can anyone be against it?” Mr. Loucher asked the Times Online. “I served the meals to my friends without telling them about the new ingredient and the feedback was excellent.”

Of course, being a “natural” food does not make it free of disease-causing microorganisms. It would be very difficult to regulate how the milk was handled before purchase by the restaurateur, and it is not likely he possesses the equipment necessary to pasteurize it before use.

Last week, as reported by the Times Online, the canton’s food regulatory body ruled that Mr. Locher would not be able to store the human milk properly nor guarantee that it was fresh and safe for consumption, since the product was not a registered or regulated food. Along with the Association of Swiss Milk Producers, Zurich’s food regulator has threatened lawsuits against Mr. Locher and anyone who provides human milk for his cause.