By CHRIS JAGER
WARNING: The following article contains images that some people may find disturbing. What has been seen cannot be unseen…
No really. I’m not even kidding about this. There’s a high chance that the below photos will make squeamish readers violently and repeatedly ill. If Lifehacker articles were movies, this one would be a double feature ofCaligula and 120 Days Of Sodom. By comparison, it makes our infamous bacon milkshake post look like My Neighbour Totoro. Consider this your final warning.
Last month, I welcomed my baby daughter Claire into the world. I then cooked and ate her placenta for the express purpose of this article. (Never let it be said that Lifehacker journos aren’t committed to their jobs.) The experience was… unusual, and not something I’m likely to ever forget.
Placenta consumption is a complicated process — it involves more than just rummaging around in the afterbirth for something to eat. Below are the key steps you need to be aware of if you’re keen to join the placentophagy club. On tonight’s menu: placenta-and-tomato pizza!
STEP 1: Psyching Yourself Up
The first thing you need to do is formulate a satisfactory answer to the question: “why the HELL am I doing this? Am I CRAZY? Or what???”
The main reason to partake in human placentophagy is nutrition: the placenta is the main source of nourishment for the fetus in utero and is chock-full of iron, along with traces of hormones including progesterone, oxytocin, testosterone and estrogen.
The health benefits of the placenta are undisputed — why do you think other animals eat them? In fact, there are even professional services available that will encapsulate your placenta in the form of vitamin pills, as recently championed by Playboy bunny Holly Madison.
Placenta consumption is also supposed to help with mood, particularly post-natal depression, although this is disputed by some medical bodies. But even if it is a placebo, it will probably put a spring in your step; just like those heart-eating warriors of old.
If you happen to have Chinese ancestry, you could also use cultural tradition to convince yourself: placentas has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years (so has ground tiger penis, but we won’t go there.)
On a final note, if you go through with this, you’ll always be the “winner” whenever a group of people discuss the weirdest/grossest thing they’ve ever eaten. (Especially if you cryptically answer “human”, which is technically valid).
We recommend embarking on Step 1 a few months before the actual birth — it will probably take this long to effectively psych yourself up.