South Florida Breast Milk Selling for $1 an Ounce on Craigslist
Don't have a cow, Broward. Seriously. There's no need, because there's a reservoir of fresh milk for sale right in your backyard.
Just search "breast milk" on Craigslist and pages of lactation pumping devices pop up. But discretely woven between these listings is actual human breast milk for sale by local new moms with lactation to spare.
And in case you were wondering, the going rate for an ounce of this human milk in South Florida is $1 to $2. That might not seem like a lot, but that's actually $128 to $254 a gallon. While the going rate for a gallon of plain Jane regular ol' cow milk is about $4, it doesn't get any more local than this. And it'll make new moms think twice before they dump their leftover fluids; it's liquid gold.
Every mom has a different experience with breastfeeding. Some can't produce enough, and others produce too much. For moms with extra milk, hoarding their leftovers in the freezer and selling it online can be a quick and easy way to make a few dollars while helping out a mom in need.
(Then there are those new age-y type adults who would drink human breast milk for its immunity-boosting properties, but let's not go there.)
Kseniya Comon recently gave birth to her second child and has been producing extra milk. After running out of room in her freezer, she looked to sell or donate her milk but figured Craigslist would be easier. This is her ad:
But Comon has been unsuccessful selling her "fresh creamy milk" and has only been able to give her milk to one other mother who wasn't producing enough to feed her own baby. She's even offered to receive a health report and donate to families where the infant is suffering from an illness.
Lactating moms beware, though; Comon complains that she received plenty of scams on Craigslist. She's received 15 just this month.
"Unfortunately it's not working out," Comon says. "I'm getting a lot of scams, and people are contacting me saying they have breast cancer but the cashier checks they send me are for $1,800, and I work in a bank; I know they're not real."
One mother in Coral Springs who we were not able to contact for comment is selling a whopping 600 ounces of her frozen milk. The breast milk was pumped from December of last year to this past August.
She touts that she doesn't "drink, do drugs, or smoke" and even took "Women's 1-A-Day Prenatal Vitamins throughout pregnancy and entire time breastfeeding." Her thorough record-keeping of date pumped and volume allow her to sell her nourishing commodities for almost $1,200 in total -- if she manages to sell it all.
Then there was this mom from Boynton Beach.
The Boynton Beach mom, who wished to remain anonymous, simply laughed and explained it was "all my husband's idea." They've only recently put up the ad and haven't heard from any buyers. Her daughter is 4 months old and is milk- and soy-intolerant and can't digest her milk, but that doesn't stop the mom from producing copious amounts, she explains.
The benefits of breastfeeding are widely known. The CDC argues that most women should breastfeed their babies for at least two years.
The main source of the internet breast milk trade, though, is Only the Breast. While it's not as dodgy as Craigslist and seems to have rigid guidelines, it doesn't screen milk either. However, cofounder Glenn Snow explained in an email that its tailored searches better serve the needs of mothers and babies.
"OTB has many categories tailored to the different breast milk stages and varying lifestyles a mother can post their ads in," Snow wrote in an email to Clean Plate Charlie. "Plus, buyers can search based on their babies' specific needs. This focused approach has helped tens of thousands of sharing mothers easily locate and connect with other mothers in need, it's a win win."
But breast milk that doesn't come from designated Human Milk Banks carries the risk of transmitting diseases. According to the CDC, breast milk can transmit HIV, tuberculosis, illicit drugs, alcohol, and even traces of nicotine.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Find out about upcoming events and special offers happening in the South Florida dining scene.