VIDEO: Human Breast Milk Cheese Comes to NYC With the Lady Cheese Shop

by , 05/10/11
filed under: Art NYC,Manhattan,parenting

Would you eat human cheese made from breast milk? And if you would — or wouldn’t — what does the idea of it mean to you? Humans produce milk (specially for little humans to eat), and the most ‘local’ mammals in our midst in New York City are human. Why is drinking cows milk considered normal and ‘natural’ but drinking human milk is off-putting for many? Artist Miriam Simun recently opened the Lady Cheese Shop to offer up human breast milk cheese at the Michael Mutt Gallery in the East Village in New York to ask these very question. The Lady Cheese Shop is a thought experiment come to life where nursing moms make cheese from breast milk to offer up to a mass market of non infant consumers (right now its just an art exhibit, not am actual store). The Inhabitat crew was on hand for the Lady Cheese Shop tasting, and we were surprised to see that a lot of people came out from all over New York to sample the human cheese. Watch our video, above, to see the taster’s reactions to the human cheese.

lady cheese shop, miriam simun, michael mutt gallery, breast milk, breast milk cheese, human cheese, people cheese, cheese from mothers milk, lady cheese

In the world of environmentalism, manufacturing and production are becoming increasingly popular subjects — we talk about vehicle manufacturing, factory pollution and factory farming at long length — but how about people as producers?

In New York City there are eight million people and not one cow. If you really want to be local, the mammals in your midst are humans.

Humans already produce milk and you can turn it into cheese. I decided to try it and then with the Lady Cheese Shop I invite people to use their imagination for a few minutes and imagine what this means as a real commodity,” artist Miriam Simun said about her experiment. Visitors to the gallery entered alternately confused and excited to try this exotic commodity.

Though, is it really all that exotic? As Simun noted, “as a New Yorker, eight million people not one cow. If you really want to be local, the mammals in your midst are humans. If you really want to be ‘natural’ what is more natural than human milk?” We were on hand at the shop to ask people their thoughts on the cheese — we queried them on how it tasted and whether they enjoyed it — and what they thought about the idea of bringing it to market. Some visitors thought this truly local commodity could be a huge hit but it turns out the monetary costs might make it impossible — tune in to our video above to see how much human milk actually costs.

+ The Lady Cheese Shop



  1. mallee49 June 18, 2013 at 10:35 pm
    It would be far better to pool the unwanted/needed breast milk, freeze it and send it to 3rd world countries where newborns are starving.
  2. polynikes1k May 26, 2011 at 6:22 am
    As good as breast milk is, I'd love to try the cheese.
  3. Bry May 25, 2011 at 10:50 am
    I would be interested in trying it. The first thought is what, then the thought of drinking other animals milk and eating cheese makes one think why. We have cheese from cows, goats and other animals, why not our own. We have been brought up thinking something is wrong with it.
  4. mike lieberman May 24, 2011 at 11:54 am
    I can honestly say no. Breast milk was mean to be consumed by infants, not by grown adults.
  5. freethehens May 24, 2011 at 11:43 am
    Only babies need milk from any mammal, and there's no control for what the women eat, I imagine, so I'd pass. No ethical problem with it though - unlike the exploitation of non-humans for their excretions and body parts, without consent.
  6. Gmailer May 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm
    "In New York City there are eight million people and not one cow." In NO city are there cows. What does being in NYC have to do with the fact that there are no cows? I've never lived in any city with cows walking around. Cows live on farms, which are in the country.
  7. booger May 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm
    We don't have enough breast milk being donated to babies who need it. I'm sorry but adults don't 'need' cheese. From a cow or a human. I actually have a hard time wrapping my head around keeping premmies alive that end up with multiple problems later in life. But I know if my friend didn't have milk donated to her premmie, her son would have died. And he's one of the few that is ok. But we don't need to use this precious commodity to make cheese for adults - that I'm sure of.
  8. Jasmin Malik Chua May 10, 2011 at 11:14 am
    The logical part of my brain gets it, but the visceral part won't.
  9. Yuka Yoneda May 10, 2011 at 11:10 am
    Makes total sense to me...