There always seems to be the same old trope in a rom-com every few years. A mom pumps her breast milk, puts it in the fridge, and leaves the house — only to come back and discover that her husband (or friend) accidentally drank the breast milk while she was gone. But during this year's Burning Man, that classic joke became a reality. Believe it or not, a woman served breast milk lattes at Burning Man and people actually enjoyed them.
Yes, really. Business woman Miki Agrawal (she co-founded period proof underwear company Thinx) posted on Instagram about how she pumped during Burning Man, a festival in the Nevada desert (awesome), but then gave her breast milk to the festival attendees (say what?). Agrawal wrote all about her experience in the caption of her post, stating:
Agrawal wrote, in an email statement to Romper:
Agrawal only recently gave birth to her son, Hiro, in early July, so it would only make sense for her to be pumping in public. That's awesome. But it's not every day that you hear about grown adults clamoring to drink someone's breast milk. But it is Burning Man and pretty much anything goes there — according to Burning Man's website, it isn't a festival but a community of people who pretty much do whatever they want during their time there.
Agrawal told The Washington Post that her breastmilk was "a gift" to "people who wanted some healing" and that 30 to 40 people tried it. "Burning Man is a place where you can try things without judgement," she said.
Fair enough. But Agrawal isn't the first person to try her own breast milk or have other people taste it. Plenty of celebrities have admitted to trying their own breast milk just to see what it tastes like. Experts do warn against people drinking the breast milk of other women. According to a 2014 story from Today, there is "no evidence" that breast milk is beneficial to the health of adults. The FDA warns that human milk could carry disease and be contaminated. And one 2015 study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine found that breast milk could even be a health hazard, according to Newsweek. The study found that breast milk has less protein than cow's milk and therefore doesn't deliver on its promised health benefits — at least for adults.
The next time you reach for a breast milk latte, consider the risks before taking a sip. But more power to Agrawal for so bravely pumping in the harsh conditions of Burning Man.