News Item: Low-calorie ice cream and tea and coffee that may help reduce blood sugar levels are among the health benefits touted by a plan to halt the declining fortunes of Rajasthan's camel breeders. A two-year project, launched in drought-affected Jaisalmer district, aims to revive the industry by marketing camel milk to hotels and tourists visiting historic palaces and desert towns. "The response to camel milk as a health drink and to an ice cream made from the milk has been very encouraging," said project coordinator Ilse Kohler-Rollefson, with hotels already signing up for the products. Ice cream is being made in two flavors -- saffron-pistachio and strawberry-vanilla. The Food and Agriculture Organization says camel milk has a vitamin C content three times higher than cow's milk. It is also rich in iron, unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin B. "It is also shown to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetes patients," Kohler-Rollefson said. "At a later stage, we plan to market it for diabetes patients in the cities." India faces a diabetes crisis as people eat more sugar-rich foods and drinks. Camel milk is already being marketed as a health food in the Gulf and several African countries. Rajasthan's camel population has plunged by about 50 percent over the last 10 years to below 400,000 animals as poor breeders sell female animals for slaughter, while males are kept for hauling carts. So, what to make of this? I don't doubt that Camel Milk Ice Cream is the best and no doubt I'd lose weight on it, but there is a big production problem here that this reporter may not be aware of. It's virtually impossible to find reliable camel milkers anymore. I've milked a lot of cows and if they understand English, I'm generally pretty good at it. (I did have trouble with a Mexican cow one time.) I know cows kick and swat you with their dung-laden tails, they might even try to poke you with a horn, but they can be beguiled into allowing you to milk them. Camels are another kettle of fish. Oh sure, camels look gentle and benign but don't let those long eyelashes and limpid eyes fool you, they are holy terrors! First of all their legs are a lot longer than cows and that mechanical advantage can not only knock you off your milk stool, it can land you in the next county! If that wasn't bad enough, those long yellow teeth can seriously maim you. The WCB premiums for camel milkers are quite steep. Camels spit too, not just a little bit but great green gobs of it from ten feet away. The trait doesn't endear them to anyone except sexually deviant Arabs. It's tough to find good camel milkers anymore, most have moved to Europe for better jobs. How can you keep them down on the camel farm once they've seen gay Paree?