Placentophagy (eating placenta after childbirth) is believed to provide health benefits for the mother. Supposedly it can help with lactation, pain tolerance, energy, and postpartum depression. Other than postpartum depression, most placentophagists believe the chemicals and hormones contained in the placenta quicken the rate at which the uterus returns to its pre-pregnancy state; i.e. it helps speed the reduction of the “mommy tummy”. However, no official medical or scientific evidence exists to support any of the aforementioned claims.
January Jones, from Mad Men, is the most recent celebrity to openly practice placentophagy. Jones, like many who have decided eating placenta is healthy, ingest encapsulated placenta. The mother’s placenta is seasoned with herbs and steamed. It is then dehydrated like beef jerky until it is crisp. It is then powdered or crushed and poured into capsules for ingestion.
Some believe the dehydration process compromises the medicinal qualities of the placenta and opt for raw consumption. The membranes and cord are removed from the placenta. Next it is liquefied in a blender and added to various sauces or beverages in small doses until none remains. Others feel raw consumption is not food-safe and choose to use the placenta like any other cut of meat.
The following is a list of cuisine suggestions for eating placenta.*
Eating Placenta for Breakfast
Who doesn’t love breakfast? Breakfast hash is one of the most comforting meals for a great start to the day. Supplement your corned beef with lightly seasoned placenta. If your worried about the taste, just slather with ketchup, salsa, or hot sauce. The irony of serving placenta with eggs will undoubtedly put a smile on your face.
Eating Placenta for Lunch
Sloppy Joes (Janes in this case) are an American lunchtime staple. Simple to prepare and great leftover, the saucy meat is almost as good cold as it is hot. Add placenta to your ground beef, season and fry. The onions and sauce should mask any peculiar placenta flavors.
Eating Placenta for Dinner (or Supper if you’re Canadian)
The placenta is an organ, just like the liver. If you love liver, then maybe preparing your placenta like Liver and Onions is the right choice for you. Just about anything is delicious when it’s fried in butter with onions so why not placenta?
If eating placenta whole isn’t appetizing, then use it diced or ground just as you would beef, pork, or chicken to make chili, stew, pasta sauce, or stir fry. Eating placenta isn’t something you get to do everyday so when the opportunity arises, get creative and have fun!
Check out Joel Stein’s Guide to Eating Placenta on YouTube
*Author’s Note: I have never and nor do I ever intend to cook or consume human placenta. The above cuisine suggestions are complete conjecture. While the suggestions do seem humorous in nature, I did choose them honestly thinking they would probably taste good if I was planning on eating placenta, which I am not. While the health benefits are not founded in science, there seem to be no health risks. Therefore, I say if you want to eat placenta, go for it.