Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Human Placenta: Yummy or Yuck?


The internet has been agog with what I term the 'Placenta Controversy' in recent times.

Imagine you were a woman who just came home after the long and arduous task of heralding your cute bundle into the world. Pining for a hot meal of home made soup after the dry meal you had to put up with at the hospital.


You managed to take your shower before your bff or sis or sweet hubby brought this spicy, steamy soup for you to gorge down, as an appetizer before the main meal.

First spoon, second spoon...down your famished throat..and it suddenly occurred to you the meat looked and tasted unfamiliar, strange, and you took it upon yourself to ask "what kind of meat is this? Doesn't taste like beef"
And, wait for this, your bff or sis or hubby replied with a mischievous smirk, "It's the baby's placenta"

Yuck or yummy? Which would it be?

For me, 100% sure everything I had taken in would come struggling impatiently up and out of my esophagus immediately.

This is one tradition that is fast gaining ground globally, relatively common among the Chinese. Even relatives  who were reportedly hooked on the wonders packed into the life sized organ would cook and eat before the new mother had a chance to recover from her beautiful travail.
The recipes are endless to choose from: Placenta cocktail, placenta stew, placenta pizza, placenta lasagne, placenta roast, placenta sandwich, etc.

"Yummy or Yucky" Placenta meals.

Technology has also helped lots as some 'specialists' now prepare and pack them into small pills, to be taken by the new mothers. You wouldn't even know you were taking placenta.
The 'experts' who prepare the placenta would cut up the 'meat' and cook it thoroughly, adding spices as required. Then, painstakingly freeze and dry the cooked 'meat', grind or blend and turn into capsules.
Some reportedly cook, blend and drink it while some prefer blending it uncooked and drinking raw.

Yummy or Yuck?

And the benefits?

It is widely believed that it has anti - ageing properties, it help prevent post - natal depression, improves breast milk production or lactation and also boost energy level. Talk about a true miracle pill!
And for some, if celebrities like January Jones are doing it, then it must be completely normal. Or if the next door neighbour or best friend did it then it's totally natural.

Better to leave the veracity of the above claims to researchers.

Cord blood banking is understandable and accepted as researches have established that the harvested stem cells in the umbilical cord could work wonders in treating a lot of diseases, about 80 diseases.
Now I have been through two births and never for the life of me could I imagine taking the 'after-birth' home, making it into a 'delicious' sandwich or toast and wolfing it down. I would feel as if I was eating human flesh which is tantamount to cannibalism for me.

Also the fact that some animals (not even all) eats their own placenta does not make it right to me as a human being. 
Animals also eat their own poop and feed off dung hills. I really hope this is not the beginning of our gross descent.
In as much as organs like appendix, kidney, etc are also packed with goodness, doing our bodies good all day long', when they come out, do they need to go back in?
Each to his own.

So, who wants to sign up for placentophagia, the scientific word (usually referring to animals) for the practice of eating one’s own placenta?

(For those practicing placenta eating and those planning to do so, please, remember not to tell your child when s/he grows up what you did)

PS: Feel free to leave your comments and opinion.
Thank you.

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