Technology for the Production of Breast Milk Outside the Body with Michelle Eger, Co-Founder & CEO at BIOMILQ

We interview Michelle Eger, Co-Founder and CEO at BIOMILQ on how her company is solving for infant malnutrition, breastfeeding and more through innovations in food technology .


Morten Seja
Economic Growth Adviser
More about Morten Seja
Highlights from this article

From a nutritional perspective, thinking upstream about how we prevent malnutrition, infant nutrition and infant formula is the obvious place to start to intervene. And I couldn't believe looking around at these antiquated infant formula companies, what we have as options for parents.

84% of babies in the U S are not reaching the exclusive breastfeeding period of six months. Parents are moving to infant formula. Feeling incredible shame and stigma and guilt and frustration that's the only option they have. And so really, as long as we are able to prove through the normal regulatory bodies that it's safe, people really don't have a lot of questions about anything else.

Honestly the bigger hurdle for us is going to be regulatory approval. We're probably three to five years from market. As we should be, I think feeding the most precious beings on the planet, you like should have to prove that the product safe and effective. But it's challenging, in a world of breastmilk where we know more about the male prostate than we do about the components of breast milk. It means that there's a lot of scientific legwork that has to be done as us as a company, not just for our technology, but for the entire field of infant nutrition and breast milk. And it's a slow process. We're building a lot of expertise, really pioneering, lactation science at this point, we started to look around and realize there's really nobody else who knows more than us which is exciting, but also scary when you get to that point as a company.

I loved my coworkers and I loved the projects I was working on. But it wasn't impactful enough, on a day-to-day basis, like who really needs another strawberry yogurt in this world. And so I ended up departing my cushy corporate job and going back to school for my MBA in social impact entrepreneurship, specifically in global food systems change. So really thinking about how do we advance the way we're going to feed people on this planet and how are we going to do so within our planetary boundaries, through 2050, and I'm super non traditional MBA. I'm not a banker, I'm not a consultant, not a part of any of the big evil empires. Although, there's some benefits to those too for those who follow that path. But it brought me down a very unique world. I was in the nutrition team at the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and their private sector partnerships which is where I was introduced the first 1000 days of life. So I'm not a mom. I don't have any kids with myself. I've never breastfed, but I was introduced to this kind of unlocking potential that breastfeeding really has.

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