It’s one of those 3AM questions that keeps us all awake at night: Can a person make yogurt from vaginal bacteria? Cecilia Westbrook, an MD/PhD student at the University of Wisconsin, decided to find out.
As homemade yogurt is made by mixing a small amount of a yogurt starter culture with some milk and heating it – and because most common bacteria found in a healthy vagina is lactobacillus, the same bacteria commonly found in yogurt – Cecilia figured she could easily whip up a batch just by extracting some of her vagina’s bacteria with a wooden spoon.
A wooden spoon.
Well, of course.
She told Jezebel:
“I was actually surprised to know that we really don’t know a lot about vaginal flora, There’s really been only one or maybe two big studies and, interestingly, most of the information that we do know about is from white women, which suggests that there might be some indication that people from different ethnic backgrounds might have different flora. I was surprised about how much we didn’t know.”
To do the experiment, Westbrook used three bowls: One with yogurt made with a traditional starter culture, one with just plain milk, one with just milk and her own bodily contribution.
Westbrook left out the batches overnight and awoke to find a decent amount of yogurt in that third bowl, according to Westbrook’s friend, Janet Jay, who wrote the VICE article on the experiment.
Westbrook described the “she-made” yogurt as having a sour taste like “Indian yogurt” that went well with blueberries, according to the Metro.
Westbrook was pleased enough with the taste of the yogurt to eat a second bowl, and hasn’t suffered any ill effects. Still, her experiment left a bad taste in the mouths of food safety experts.
Theresa Eisenman, press officer at the U.S. Federal Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told VICE 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.”
So there you have it. Success. Sour-tasting lady pudding that goes well with blueberries. Yum.