Scientists Make Cheese From Microbes on Human Skin

Specifically, they've used microbes from Michael Pollan's belly button

Flickr/shardsofblue
Would you eat cheese made with microbes from human skin?

And you thought cheese was just a product of cow's milk. Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, have completely ruined cheese by making a cheese from the microbes grown on human skin.

Cheese, which does start as milk, is made when milk is spoiled with the bacteria Lactobacillus, which is then aged with yeast to create a solid hunk of cheesy goodness.

Turns out, Lactobacillus and yeast particles necessary to make cheese are literally everywhere: on plants, inside animal guts, and even in our skin. So microbiologist Christina Agapakis and artist Sissel Tolaas took swabs of their mouths, plus Michael Pollan's belly button, someone's tears, and another person's feet (!), grew the bacteria and yeast in Petri dishes, and then added them to fresh milk, creating a cheese that looks and smells like regular cheese (no word on taste tests).

"Why are we more uncomfortable with bacteria on the body than we are with bacteria in cheese?" Agapakis told The Salt. In fact, the bacteria and yeast that naturally grow on our feet and skin are very similar to those in cheese, Agapakis said. "So a lot of the smells on cheese are very similar to body odors."


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