by Dan Gibson
Maybe I'm being a stereotypical male here, grossed out by the birth process and anything related to it, but the trend piece in New York magazine about women eating their own placentas has me wishing the whole thing is a hoax. Turn away if you're eating anything right now:
Mayer then picks up the placenta, stands over the sink, and squeezes out the excess blood into a container. She pats it dry and starts peeling away its tough white membrane with her knife. “I try to send positive energy when I’m making medicine,” she goes on, as she continues blotting leaking blood (Mayer uses one roll of paper towels per placenta). “I think of peace, promise, and recovery, and hold the intention of integrating the energy of the mother and the baby.”
She then cuts the placenta in two. She will prepare one half according to the traditional Chinese method: wrapped in its membrane and steamed in a pot with a knob of ginger, a whole lemon, and a jalapeño pepper; then chopped up, dehydrated, and ground into a powder. She plans to dehydrate the other half raw.
The cooked half steams for half an hour, filling the room with the smell of meat and ginger. When Mayer takes it out, it has the texture and color of overcooked brisket. She chops it and lays it out on the parchment-lined dehydrator tray, below the raw version, which she has also chopped into slivers. In total, the placenta takes up four sixteen-inch trays.
When she turns on the dehydrator, another odor, unfamiliar to Mayer, fills the room. “It smells like something died in here!” she says.