Welcome to the terrible nexus of Foodie and Earth Mama culture: In "The Placenta Cookbook," New York Magazine reports that the placentas of Brooklyn are no longer content to be buried in gardens, or ground into powder and consumed as nutrient-rich dietary supplements. (That is so 2009.) Every placenta who is any placenta gets blended into a coconut juice smoothie, or Bloody Mary, or placenta jerky strip:
After I gave birth, I threw a chunk of placenta in the Vitamix with coconut water and a banana. It gave me the wildest rush. You know the feeling of drinking green juice on an empty stomach? It's like that, but much more intense.
Loretta Jordan, a Bronx-based doula who organized the picnic, would go on to drink a piece of her daughter's placenta in a "top-shelf Bloody Mary."
Hughes describes her husband as an "adventurous eater," but when they heard that a friend served his wife's placenta jerky at a party, Doug said he thought it was "a bit much."
"It tastes like jerky," Doug says. "Dry, gamy, bland jerky."
"They're happy pills," [slightly passé dried placenta pill maker Jennifer] Mayer says. "They're made by your body, for your body. Why wouldn't you want to try?"
Technically, they're made by your body for your baby, to be expelled as waste during labor. But some cultures ("ancient Egypt… Ibo tribe in Nigeria… Chinese medicine… Williamsburg") celebrate placentophagia, and there are even professional human placenta chefs now, so what do I know? The one time I witnessed the miracle of birth—in the child-terrorizing Miracle of Birth barn at the Minnesota State Fair—it included a wild-eyed sow sloppily gobbling its afterbirth. And pigs are good at recognizing fetid treasure. Maybe placenta is the truffle of the mammalian body?
Reader, would you eat placenta? Would you eat placenta with a fox? Would you eat placenta in a box? Would you? Could you? In a car? Eat them! Eat them! Slithering out your vagina and into a bedpan, here your placentas are! [NYMag, 'fresh human placenta' image via Wikimedia Commons]