Thursday, March 24, 2011

Breast milk ice cream + bioethics

When the breast milk ice cream story broke, at least half a dozen thoughtful friends sent me links about, urging me to blog it.  I would, I thought, eventually, but the more I considered it, the more I realized it was more than a gimmick.  To me, it raised a number of disturbing sociological questions -- questions about adventure eating/foodie elitism, what it means that only a woman can provide this ingredient, what it means that it's for sale, what it means for infants, and the choices mothers make.  I didn't want to blog about it merely to say "it exists."

Luckily, Sarah Hepola, a great editor at, assigned me what became this piece on "The Squirmy Ethics of Breast Milk Ice Cream."  In it, I discuss how a commercial market for human milk might impact women and what its relationship might be to other industries based on the commodification of intimate functions: surrogacy, sex work, the organ trade.  Hope you enjoy.


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