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Placentophagy: A New Food Trend?

I don't think of myself as overly squeamish when it comes to food, but admit that the photos in this Guardian article put me off a bit. I'd heard of this before but had no idea that it is now being endorsed by "celebrity advocates"


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  1. N.F.W.

    I was there. No interest in reliving via culinary means.

    Now, planting under a new tree to commemorate a new life...that I can get behind.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tcamp

      I guess I feel kinda lucky I gave birth 18 and 21 years ago, before this.

    2. Head over to any alternative parenting boards and you will find this is not so new of a trend. I gave birth 12 years ago and the "old timers" often gave quite involved recipes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodieX2

        Yes, the article mentions that it is not new, and I had heard of the practice. (Also eating ashes of the dead in some culltures). But those photos, and the "celebrity advocates" really threw me.

      2. There's a Saturday Night Live sketch from the 70s that was either filmed or never aired (or maybe just never filmed) for a product called "Placenta Helper." I used to have a book of SNL scripts that included it.

        3 Replies
          1. re: 4X4

            I also have this book and have a vague feeling that this Placenta Helper idea was a holdover from the National Lampoon Radio show. I do remember a funny treatment of placenta eating in Shary Flenniken's wonderful NatLamp comic strip Trots and Bonnie (probably circa 1974).

            1. re: ratgirlagogo

              Well, damn. Whaddaya know. One minute of googling and here it is:


              August 1973, as it turns out. What an incredible comic strip that was, by the way and completely off topic. Exquisite line drawing, almost the lone female authored comic at the old NatLamp, and doesn't seem to be collected into book form. Criminal.

          2. I have no real food aversions and have sorta prided myself on the notion that "I'd try anything once". Nonetheless, this one might be pushing it. I mean, maybe it's simply the long accepted notion that eating human flesh is unconscionable, immoral, that makes me hesitant.* But when you compound that problem with the uber-sensitive Dad connotation, it becomes nearly unfathomable. The culinary equivalent of being subjected to a continuous loop of Coldplay songs while your Dockers clad coworker narrates the iPhone pictures of his kids he's showing you.

            * Besides, if I'm heading down the cannibal route, I think I'm gonna start with a better cut - maybe a nice, fatty roast thigh or something?

            1. " The blender looked rank. After 10 minutes of watching a hefty chunk of placenta whirl around the Magimix, it finally broke down into the banana and coconut water."

              I could have lived without that visual..

              1. Not new. A friend's wife did it over 30 years ago. BLEAH.

                1. It's been around for a really long time. Around the 90s or so, there was a documentary on HBO about it. But, yes, it hasn't seen the celebrity endorsement until recently.

                  I would definitely do it if I had a child -- though I'd probably wuss out and opt for the freeze-dried form. It's an herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. But I'd probably save a little bit to try it in its natural state. The smoothie form sounds nasty. My choice of cooking would be Sichuan style with lots of chiles and peppercorns.

                  1. I feel like I read this story about every five years or so. I don't think it's particularly new or a growing trend. It's just one of those things that some people do and everyone else finds super squicky so it's an easy pitch to an editor.

                    1. Oh, my. Thanks to you, Erica, I'm imagining all the possible bodily garnishes. Thanks a lot.