Casey Jacob, guest barfblogger: What to do with breast milk?

Hans Locher of the Storchen restaurant in Switzerland, experienced “excellent results” in creating novel dishes utilizing his wife’s surplus breast milk after the birth of their daughter 35 years ago. Recently, he noticed several new mothers in his neighborhood and told the Swissinfo website, “One evening I thought that they must have a lot of extra breast milk that I could do something with." His recipe for Chantarelle sauce with breast milk and cognac can be found here.

Moms willing to experiment have also found good use for breast milk in cream soup, once its been bottled up for baby, but sat in the fridge to long to be considered “sterile.” The pot of cream of carrot shown here was reportedly sweeter than recipes using other milks.

Last November, the Associated Press reported that a young mom donated much of her breast milk that was pumped and immediately frozen (since her infant daughter refused to drink from a bottle) to the University of Iowa’s Mother’s Milk Bank.

Several human milk banks exist in the US, and benefit newborns whose mothers are unable to produce enough safe breast milk to sufficiently feed them, as well as a few adults who seek it out as a prescribed cancer treatment.

The Iowa mom hit a snag, though, when 100 ounces of the milk pumped before her enrollment in the program was not accepted as a donation. Therefore, she took out a newspaper ad asking $200 (equivalent to $16 per 8 oz. baby bottle, or $2 per each ounce) for its sale, after confirming that the state of Iowa held no laws against the sale of breast milk. A spokesman for the Iowa Department of Public Health was also not aware of any laws in Iowa restricting the sale of breast milk, but said that state health officials advised against it.

Mr. Loucher, who offered less than 50 cents per ounce, was threatened with lawsuits by his canton’s food regulatory body if he purchased human breast milk for his restaurant, because the product was not a registered or regulated food.

Of course, regulation does not ensure safety … but it might do more to encourage it.