Care for some human cheese?

Would you try a slice of human cheese? I’ve asked this question at a dinner of artists and sustainable food advocates, at dinner with my family, and in conversation with friends. There are the brave few who say they’d be interested in tasting some, but most people react in utter disgust.

After the shock of imagining what it would be like to consume cheese made from human milk, the real question becomes: Why does it make us so uncomfortable?

New York University graduate student Miriam Simun created her Human Cheese project as a way to engage people in conversation about biotechnology, food systems, and the human body. The project originated as part of Marc Alt’s Living Systems course at NYU’s Interactive Technology Program, but she plans to continue her research.

I usually focus on information technology, but I was particularly interested in Simun’s innovative approach to exploring the ethics of biotechnology and sustainable food production. She pushes the boundaries in the already contentious and topical conversation of biotechnology, and I wanted to have my assumptions challenged.

How about you? Does the idea of human cheese fascinate or disgust you? Can you articulate why?

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