Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Latest Business Plan: Mass Production of Human Milk

I just found out that there is a pretty big demand for human milk. Most of it is being provided by Milk Banks who take milk from donors and then sell it to women who do not themselves lactate for $3 an ounce. There is also an on-line trade in human milk.

I reckon that the health benefits of human milk would also be a big selling point for adults. Picture the caption "Breast Milk… It’s Not Just for Babies" under a picture of an old man with a milk mustache. The market is potentially huge.

The Milk Bank model doesn’t seem all that efficient to me, and it would be hard, in my view, to make a profit from human milk production with that model. I have a different business plan that involves centralized and continuous mass production of breast milk by lactating women who will be compensated for their contributions.

A rare and not widely reported side effect of a certain anti-depressant leads me to believe that a safe, inexpensive and effective means of stimulating lactation artificially can be utilized to establish a large staff of lactating women, which we will refer to as "Associates". For reasons of economy, it will be preferable to locate production facilities in developing countries, in association with refugee camps, or in association with areas of nutritional instability. This will keep production costs down and permit the enterprise to benefit some of the neediest women in the world.

The Associates’ compensation package will include housing at the production facility for the women and their families. This will be a necessary condition of their employment since the business plan calls for them to maintain a state of "on-demand" lactation in order to maximize production and to insure that the Associates continue to lactate indefinitely without further artificial stimulants. Under these conditions, associates will be able to lactate freely for years at a time. On-demand lactation will be simulated by a device which replicates the demand of a nursing infant, and Associates will be required to deposit their milk in a portable breast pump whenever the device is triggered. Otherwise, Associates will have almost no responsibilities and will be free to tend to their families or pursue other interests at the facility.

Housing at the facility will be more hygienic and comfortable than what Associates have been used to, and the plan is to replicate the normal environment and village life as much as possible. An added feature will be the availability of schooling for Associates and their families and/or employment opportunities.

The compensation package will also include all of the Associates’ nutritional requirements. It will be a condition of their contracts that their nutritional intake will be provided solely by the enterprise and monitored by staff nutritionists. In addition, most of the food of the Associates’ families will be provided by the enterprise, some of it through the efforts of Associates’ families as employees of the enterprise. This will enable the enterprise to control the quality of the product and will allow Associates a level of food security that they probably would not have experienced otherwise.
Associates will also have free routine medical care for themselves and their families. This will be done in conjunction with regular testing to insure that drugs and diseases and alcohol do not contaminate the product and will benefit both the enterprise and the Associates at only marginal extra cost.

Associates will enjoy free security protection, and the production facility will be fenced and patrolled by armed security personnel for the protection of Associates and their families.

In addition, Associates will be able to earn bonuses and incentive payments based on quality of product and quantity of production.

And let’s not forget the benefits of lactational infecundity that will allow Associates to enjoy smaller families and more freedom to pursue other interests. These women will be far more independent and powerful than their peers outside the production facility. The enterprise is dedicated to the empowerment of women.

Our happy and well nourished Associates should be able to produce quantities of milk on a daily basis that are unheard of in this country, and the screening and quality control that the enterprise does will make consumers feel secure that the human milk that they are purchasing is safe and delicious. Milk from our production facility will be the first choice of the discriminating consumer.

In addition, consumers may also enjoy our line of fine cheeses and yogurts.

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