According to this, Cecilia Westbrook, an MD/PhD student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and self described feminist (natch!) recently completed the most nauseating experiment ever, involving eating yogurt made out of her own vaginal bacteria.
If you’re thinking, “I can’t even” right now, then congratulations. You are a normal human being.
The whole thing started innocently enough, apparently, when Cecilia and her friend Janet were chatting last summer and they started “riffing on vagina puns.” You know.
This discussion led to Cecilia noting that the most common bacteria found in a healthy vagina is lactobacillus, which is the same bacteria in yogurt. Now, most normal people who are interested in science would probably note that and just move on with their lives, and not be inspired to make vagina yogurt, but Cecilia Westbrook had other plans.
She decided that she wanted to see if she could make some yogurt by extracting some of her own vagina’s bacteria with a WOODEN SPOON. And according to her interview with Jezebel (because of course), she’s kind of amazed that anyone thinks that’s remotely odd. In response to the reaction that many people have had to Cecilia’s experiment being completely disgusting, Cecilia said (emphasis mine):
“I guess I’m sad that people are so grossed out by vagina because people think that semen cookbook is kind of silly, but the tenor of comments here have just been ‘who would even do that’ and ‘why’ and ‘this is terrible’ and ‘that’s just gross.” And it’s kind of hard not to feel like that’s a little gendered.
“It’s your own body, and I think that one thing that was really interesting to me was that there are probiotics that people sell to women to balance their flora and all those cultures come from dairy or other sources, but you have bacteria specifically adapted to live in your vagina and no one knows anything about it. People just seem really grossed out by the fact that stuff lives in there. But it’s natural and part of your health. It seems weird to be grossed out about it. It’s weird we don’t know much more about vaginal flora than we do considering how important it is.”
Listen. I’m all for people wanting to understand female biology and the amazing wonders of the vagina from a scientific perspective. That’s all really important stuff. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD EAT VAGINA YOGURT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
Because that’s exactly what she did, you guys. She put her own vaginal bacteria in a bowl with some plain milk, let it sit out overnight, and LO AND BEHOLD found a bunch of yogurt in the bowl in the morning.
Cecilia’s friend wrote an entire column about this experiment, including information about the taste test. And I know you’re curious, so here’s what it said:
Her first batch of yogurt tasted sour, tangy, and almost tingly on the tongue. She compared it to Indian yogurt, and ate it with some blueberries.
Cecilia insists that this entire experiment is not in the least bit unusual. She said,
“In a way, it’s so obvious. Like, of course you can make yogurt out of your natural flora. But who would think to do it? And of course the feminist in me wants to say something about how there’s a beauty in connecting your body to your food and exploring the power that your vagina has. Part of that is kind of a mystical hippie thing, but part of it is also just getting comfortable with your own body, especially in a culture that is so uncomfortable with women’s bodies.”
So she made a second batch. And because you’re dying to know, she said the second batch tasted “even more tart, like slightly-spoiled milk.”
CAN YOU EVEN?
Incidentally, a rep from the FDA said that this is not a good idea. She said that “vaginal secretions are not considered ‘food’, and they may transmit human disease, a food product that contains vaginal secretions or other bodily fluids is considered adulterated.”
Hear that, y’all? “Vaginal secretions are not considered a food.” THIS APPARENTLY NEEDED TO BE SAID OUT LOUD.