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Placentphagy; A Thing I Can Never Unlearn
I completely forgot that I had a gig tonight. My plan was to play Dragon Age 2, which is much better than Origins, until my eyes began to water and hurt, and then fire up the four disc Donnie Darko blu-ray I just got. But these won’t happen because I’m stupid. Instead, an acoustic gig. I think I’m going to eat a meal on the tab, though. I don’t drink, so I should probably get something out of it, right? Also, my mother flashed me on a topic that she suggested I write about. I’m not sure if I can relate it to modification, but we’ll write about it anyway because it’s pretty wild stuff. So let’s do that. Even though I’d rather be slaying dragons.
Let me preface this by saying that, to me, everything associated with childbirth is grotesque and disgusting. It’s a violent maelstrom of blood and shit and crying and yelling and father helplessness. It’s amazing to me (and yes, Chris, I actually mean amazing) that people are born healthy and safe and this is how we’ve maintained our species for however thousands of years. Well, most of you come out healthy anyway. Shit, everything about making people is pretty gory, something out of the mind of a post recording career Rob Zombie, or 70’s vintage Wes Craven and Toby Hooper. I watch a ton of horror movies, nearly in a future psychopath kind of way, but in any movie where childbirth is featured, horror or romantic comedy or western or whatever, I have to look away because it’s way too intense for me. Thankfully, the way I have my shitty life planned anyway, I’ll never have to see it firsthand. If I have to deliver a stranger’s baby in a cab after the gig tonight, I’m going to kill you all. As a side note, I don’t really watch romantic comedies.
Just when I thought that childbirth couldn’t get any worse than Saw 4, I learned about placentophagy. Thanks, mom. I’ll be crawling in bed with you from nightmares very soon, probably tonight. Now, I know you cats and kittens are the smart brand, so I’m sure you can dig deep into your knowledge of word roots and etymologies to figure that word out. For those of you kids who are lazy or stupid, placentophagy is the eating of the placenta by mammals. And I take it we all know what the placenta is, right? A placenta is an organ that develops after the dame gets knocked up. It’s like a baby butler. It provides nutrients, takes away waste, exchanges gas between the host’s blood, and the symbiote’s blood. I like phrasing it that way because I like alien movies. It will also shovel your walk and do your laundry. That part’s not true. The thing is about nine inches long, weighs about a pound, looks like a gross, undercooked steak, and connects the tumor growing into a person to the moody and swollen greenhouse by the umbilical cord. When the little future disappointment comes out (only if he chooses a career in the arts or music), the placenta plops out in a gooey, bloody mess of discarded person. One last fun fact about the placenta, it’s etymology comes from Latin meaning ‘cake.’
This is the part where the doctor or whoever is pulling your baby out into this cruel, cruel world would take this thing and toss it wherever discarded body parts go. Delaware, maybe? But no, not for some people. Some people like to take this thing home, cook it up, and chow down on it.
Now before all of you natural mother types get up my ass about how ancient peoples have done this and all of that nonsense, let me say that yes; ancient peoples would eat placentas. Ancient peoples also believed that a man with a trident ruled the seas, killed Christians with lions, enslaved Africans, and attempted genocide on Jews. Also, they nailed my Christ to a tree. So I don’t think we should be taking too many lessons from ancient peoples. And yes, I know that many mammals eat their placentas. They also give birth in the woods and if a mean ol’ wolf catches a whiff of that, you can say goodbye to Bambi’s brothers and sisters.
So why would people, human people; the kind of people who think and use tools and interact socially with one another and invent things and create art and love and hate and do all of those things that intelligent anthropoids do, eat a placenta? Well, first it contains a chemical (and I’m not going to name the chemicals because no one cares) that helps mother return to normal size. It also helps to equalize hormone balance, reducing postpartum depression, as well as contracts the smooth muscles around the mammary cells (Boobius Cellus Tittius Maximus, in Latin) making milking a bit easier. Now, despite the numerous quotes from the cats at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to the uselessness of placentphagy, people still do it, the Chinese even using it in traditional medicines.
OK, that’s why. Sort of. Then there’s how. Thanks to the internet and a simple search that you never thought you’d ever have possibly wanted to enter into a search engine, you can arrive at several delectable and not at all wretched ways to prepare your baby’s port-a-potty. Don’t believe me? Here’s an example:
1-3lb fresh placenta (must be no more than 3 days old)
1 green or red pepper (green will add colour)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 sleeve saltine crackers
1 tspn bay leaves
1 tspn black pepper
1 tspn white pepper
1 clove garlic (roasted and minced)
(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)
1. Chop the onion and the pepper & crush the saltines into crumbs.
2. Combine the placenta, onion, pepper, saltines, bay leaves, white and black pepper, garlic and tomato sauce.
3. Place in a loaf pan, cover then bake for one and a half hours, occasionally pouring off excess liquid.
4. Serve and enjoy!
1 fresh, ground, or minced placenta, prepared as above
2 tblspns olive oil
2 sliced cloves garlic
1/2 tspn oregano
1/2 diced onion
2 tblspns tomato paste, or 1 whole tomato
Method: use a recipe for lasagna and substitute this mixture for one layer of cheese. Quickly saute all the ingredients in olive oil. Serve. Enjoy!
Or one that’ll make dead Jack LaLaine proud:
1/4 cup fresh, raw placenta
8oz V-8 juice
2 ice cubes
1/2 cup carrot
Method: blend at high speed for 10 seconds. Serve. A tasty thirst quencher!
Why am I writing about this? Well, my mom suggested it and I love my mother and do what she says. Also, it provides an interesting context to those who liberally treat their bodies. It is an interesting ownership of oneself, isn’t it? Have you ever eaten anything that has come out of your body cavity? Did you ever want to? Yeah, I know; there’s all that hippie bullshit about getting close to the new child and the new life and the earth or universe or whatever pagan cosmic nonsense people who use lemons as deodorant and honey as hair gel invent. That’s all very nice. But aren’t you and I, we in the modified community, often criticized for our behavior toward our own bodies? The stretching and scarring and implants and suspension. Don’t we explore our bodies in unique ways, getting us closer to ourselves and what we are and how we are built. True, what we do in modification has no prolific medical benefit, but (depending on which studies you read) neither does eating your body’s waste. So if these two behaviors can find that parallel, the exploration of our own bodies, then why do we do it? Why do we choose to put marks and holes in ourselves, or dine on the uterus muck that we make?
Maybe because there are still mysteries in reality. It’s hard to believe, though, that there is nothing undiscovered. It’s difficult to believe that there are landmasses untouched by people, there are animals undissected, there are portions of our own bodies that we are completely ignorant to. Pretty wild stuff. It’s interesting to think that we suspend to learn things about ourselves and our pain, and that we make a meal of our own body parts in order to do whatever it is that these placenta eaters think they’re doing. At the end of the day, though, if you’re having a placenta party, lose my number. I’m pretty open minded to things, but I’m not eating any part of a thing that’s still alive. Unless it’s a plant. Stay beautiful, kids.
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