“Maternal placentophagy” is a thing now. This modern obsession involves mothers eating their own placenta, the organ that connects the fetus to the wall of the uterus and gives it nourishment.
As popular as the eat-your-own-placenta trend is, Guardian contributor Nicholas Baines is the first guy we’ve heard of to make his wife’s placenta into a taco (fried with a little garlic and paprika), as well as eat it raw in a smoothie.
Most placenta-eaters are women who eat their own placenta; what’s more, these women usually consume it dehydrated, in capsule form. Not Baines.
Baines describes his motivation for eating placenta,
“Being inquisitively omnivorous, I wanted to know how it would taste; in the face of a fresh, still-warm placenta, I was less enthusiastic. The wobbly, knotted mass of fibrous, clot-like flesh was bigger than I expected and somewhat intimidating. While I wavered, a more open-minded midwife suggested taking “just a few cheeky steaks”. And so I left the hospital with my wife, our newborn son and a doggy bag.”
So, what we really want to know is the best way to cook placenta, right? When Baines Googled placenta recipes, he found one for lasagne and pizza, plus an entire book dedicated to cooking with placenta.
What Baines discovered after extensive cooking and taste testing was: placenta cooked with spices and stuffed into a tortilla is a superior cooking method to eating placenta raw in a smoothie.
About the raw placenta smoothie, Baines writes,
“The blender looked rank… It had a mineral earthiness to it and tasted exactly like the delivery room had smelled.”
But the cooked placenta taco was far more appetizing to Baines. He writes,
“The cooked placenta, on the other hand, was actually pretty good. As I seasoned it on the chopping board, the bright, almost glowing red chunk of placenta was more attractive than many cuts of offal I’ve dealt with, and looked quite appetising. The meat was rich, with a beef-like quality. It was tender, kind of like roast brisket and not dissimilar to Texas BBQ.”
Although Baines had read about a mother who felt weird and jittery after ingesting placenta—and then went into a rage-and-tears-filled fit—Baines said he felt fine after eating it (other than feeling nauseous from the smoothie).
Mark Kristal, a professor at the University at Buffalo and expert on placentophagy, says,
“Though it is a rich source of protein, it is designed to feed the baby, not the mother,” says Dr Rohan Lewis, a reader of physiology at the University of Southampton. “If you do decide to eat placenta, it’s probably best to eat your own, rather than other people’s.”
We guess Baines didn’t really care so much about Kristal’s advice.
[via The Guardian]
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