Hans Locher, the owner of the rustic Storchen restaurant in the village of Iberg near the resort of Winterthur, posted adverts in German newspapers for human milk donors and, initially at least, elicited some positive reactions.
Local authorities, however, were less than enthusiastic about the idea of having their traditional fricassee served with a breast milk sauce. Yesterday Zurich’s food regulatory body and the Association of Swiss Milk Producers threatened lawsuits against Mr Loch and any donors, who were promised the equivalent of about €10 (£8) for a litre of milk. “I don’t understand all the controversy. The mother’s milk is the most natural thing in the world – how can anyone be against it? It is, after all, the first thing we taste and I see no reason why I should not include it in my menu,” Mr Locher, who trained as a cook in several countries, said.
He claims to have been experimenting privately with various recipes since his daughter was born and to have perfected the use of the ingredient in his cooking, preparing meals such as breast milk soup, breast milk lamb curry, or antelope steak with chantarelle sauce with breast milk and cognac. In all cases the human milk is mixed with whipped cream and makes up at least 75 per cent of the sauce.
“The idea first came to me when I noticed that there were many young mothers in our village, some of them single. I thought to myself: why not make use of their potential? I served the meals to my friends without telling them about the new ingredient and the feedback was excellent.”
Officials were taken aback by an apparent loophole in the regulations which did not seem to cover the issues of using breast milk. According to Rolf Etter, of the Zurich food regulator, the lack of guidelines became an argument in itself, as it was ruled that Mr Locher would not be able to store the human milk properly nor guarantee that it was fresh and safe for consumption, since the product was not a registered or regulated food.
Mr Locher is now facing legal action if he proceeds with his plan of introducing the novel recipes. His breast milk donors from the village also risk being sued for providing the potentially dangerous product.
Chantarelle sauce with breast milk and cognac
- Warm up olive oil with cinnamon and flambéed cognac
- Add white wine and stir
- Add breast milk and stir
- Add whipped cream
- Serve with antelope steak or other grilled meat and black Piedmont rice
- Garnish with vegetables