Thursday, September 2, 2010

Maybe they should call it 'afterbirth'

Okay, so: I have looked into this a bit further, and whaddya know, Placenta is a thing here. A health thing. Something to eat. You know, ingest. And I'm not talking about what follows your baby out of the birth canal. (Not judging here.) Apparently "The Placenta" jelly-candy-chew snack food I spotted (and, photographed, and posted here earlier today) is just one of a slew of such products that boast placenta -- specifically blended pig placenta, it seems -- as a key ingredient.

Todd Wassel, of Todd's Wanderings, on discovering Placenta!, the drink:

"It is no secret that the Japanese love English, not speaking it fluently, but pasting it on anything and everything to make it seem cooler. Most items make no sense and are just random words strung together. Others are more unfortunate, like the 5 year old girl in my elementary school English class who showed up wearing a t-shirt that said “Smack the Bitch and Pump the Hoes.” I’m still trying to figure out if this was supposed to be a gangster tag line or that of an enraged farmer. In her parent’s defense, it was pink and had cute little flowers on it.

So my natural reaction at seeing the drink Placenta, was that some poor office worker was asked to come up with an English word that conveyed health and vitality for their new line of vitamin supplement drinks. Unable to speak English he turned to his ever present electronic dictionary and the rest is marketing history. To my surprise, they knew exactly what they were doing." (One 30 ml bottle of Blended Pig Placenta sells for about $8.50.)

"More Japanese drink it than I could possibly imagine," Wassel writes. "So many people that a new, popular product line was developed of beverages of various placental concentrations (tastes like peaches!), capsules, an organic skin cream and a wearable facial mask filled with placental extract...."

As Wassel points out, those who practice Placentophagy – the storied, age-old tradition of placenta eating, on the rise again in the U.S. -- will totally dig this. I, however -- a mother of two who decidedly did not consume any part of either placenta (still, no judgments) -- do not.

You can read more of Todd's Wanderings here.


Lin said...

We had a couple to dinner one night and the lady half of this couple said quite calmly that after her daughter was born, she baked the placenta and ate every bit of it. Sort of a haggis type recipe. This was said over the know...yummy food type conversation. Her partner (not the father of her now 32 year old daughter) excused himself from the table and came back a few minutes later composed and no longer quite so green. I still can't remember quite why this 60 odd year old aging hippie felt we should know the placenta story.

This is Topanga (and yeah, no judgment...maybe).

Little Ethiopia(n) said...

It's not just a Topanga thing, it's happening in Hollywood too. I know someone who has done this. Recently. Her son was born this summer and she had the placenta made into pills. Not the cola, the real placenta. It helps balance hormones apparently. I think it's fascinating. (Hi JM in case you followed this link :-)