Scientists Use Human Bacteria to Make Cheese [VIDEO]
For years scientists have tampered with food in order to find ways of prolonging longevity by creating resistance to deadly diseases or to create new types of foods. In a new project, scientists used human bacteria to create cheese. According to the scientists, they wanted to challenge how people think about human bacteria.
"Cheese is actually a really great model organism for us to think about good and bad bacteria but also good and bad smells," biologist Christina Agapakis from the University of California, Los Angeles said according to the Los Angeles Times. "Can knowledge and tolerance of bacterial cultures in our food improve tolerance of the bacteria on our bodies?"
For this project, Agapakis worked with odor artist, Sissel Tolaas. They extracted human bacteria from the armpits, mouths, belly buttons and in between toes. The bacteria came from herself, another scientist and Michael Pollan, who is a food writer and author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma."
The bacteria were then mixed with milk to create cheese. She reported that some of the bacteria found in between human toes are very similar to the bacteria present in cheese. She hopes that her version of cheese, which is currently in an exhibition in Dublin, Ireland, can change how people view bacteria.
"People were really nervous and uncomfortable and kind of making these grossed out faces," Agapakis explained according to FOX News. "Then they smell the cheese, and they'll realize that it just smells like a normal cheese."
"This isn't cheese for eating," Agapakis added. "This is cheese for thinking."
Cheese is made by using Lactobacillus bacteria, which is sourced from plants or animals, and yeast to curdle milk. The combination results in cheeses that can be aged with different flavors.