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I recently read about a New York City chef who began crafting cheese from his wife’s breast milk following the birth of their child. Where to begin? First, what a publicity stunt for his restaurant. In the past few days, the news has been replete with coverage of this from local foodie blogs to the BBC. There is some talk that he has been serving this cheese at his restaurant which is clearly not possible, at least legally, since breast milk would not be approved by the health department – I know that we are talking about New York City, but still, I seriously doubt that the powers that be would permit such a thing. He claimed that he made it for he and his wife’s own consumption and then made it for some family members and friends at their request.
Second, having made cheese (not from breast milk, mind you) I know that it requires a whole lot of milk to produce a small amount of cheese. Delicious, homemade cheese, but still a lot of milk. Also having nursed my own children I am familiar with the amount of breast milk output from the average person. Yes, you can pump and store, which is where he claims to have gotten his milk (excess breast milk) but still, that is a whole lot of breast milk to be producing cheese for yourself, your family and friends. Does this poor chef have a wife or a milk producing machine? The poor child, is the poor thing’s milk supply being squeezed out for 15 minutes of fame for chef dad?
The whole thing doesn’t sit well with me, not even going into the whole contention of people who would go “ewwww, breast milk?” and have issues with it because the milk comes from a human as opposed to a cow, ewe or goat. I think it is an up and coming chef’s attempt to gain his 15 minutes of fame and promote his own restaurant. Knowing the way that people are, I just bet that the phone is ringing off the hook there right now.
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One of the things that I tried desperately to eliminate from my diet when I realized that the sulfites in wine were bothering me was high fructose corn syrup. I learned that it contained sulfites in the processing of it and therefore it was something better avoided for me. Today results of a study were released which indicate that nearly 50% of tested samples of high fructose corn syrup contain mercury — which is yet another reason to avoid it. The press release in full can be found here.
According to the release, 55 brand name food and beverages containing high fructose corn syrup as the first or second ingredient were sent in for testing. “Nearly one in three products tested contained detectable mercury. Mercury was most prevalent in HFCS-containing dairy products, dressings and condiments. The brands that were tested included Hershey’s, Kraft, Smucker’s, Manwich, Nutrigain and Yoplait.
When I started looking to avoid high fructose corn syrup, I was amazed to find that it was in foods that I never would have suspected – like breads and believe it or not it was one of the leading ingredients. Do we really need it in breads?
How might you ask does one get mercury in the high fructose corn syrup? Evidently from what I’ve read it is a byproduct of the manufacturing process whereby the corn syrup is extracted from the kernel. Read here for more information and a complete list of the products tested and their levels of mercury.
Pretty scary stuff….our food is definitely going to kill us sooner or later. Another reason that I will ramp up my efforts to avoid it, not only for me but also now for my family.