December 27, 2005

Regarding The Fate Of Mrs. Rod Stewart's Placenta

walnut_pate.JPGSo new parents Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster kept her placenta in the freezer until they could get a tree to plant on top of it. Once grandma Lancaster got a walnut tree, they took it out back, dug a hole for it, put the little tree on top, and filled it back in. Then, explained Lancaster, "We all jumped on the top and flattened the ground. It was a resting place for it."

If you're at all surprised by this bury-the-placenta, plant-a-tree tradition, it's probably because you're not a shaman, an Uzbek, or a New Zealander. Because apparently, it goes waaay back.

Unless you count the ancient practice known as Lotus Birth [and by "ancient," I mean "started in 1974 by a pregnant Californian hippy named Claire Lotus Day"], where the baby and placenta are delivered intact and nurtured side by side for several days until the umbilical cord detaches on its own, the pinnacle of placenta traditions, has to be the placental feast: i.e., eating it.

Right before they give a recipe for--no kidding--placenta pate', Junior Magazine reports that "one father who ate his wifeís placenta ñ sheís a vegetarian, so abstained ñ fried it up with onions and described it to me as 'very nice. Like a cross between liver and steak.'î And now you know.

Rod Stewart's Placenta Burial [femalefirst via cbb]

WWJCD...JC=Julia Child [mr nice guy was all over this in May, and in Quebecois]


What rationale for becoming a vegetarian would prevent a woman from eating her placenta? Certainly no creature died for that flesh. It can't be for health reasons either, given that the only (non-"spiritual") justification for eating placenta is nutritional.

I have heard tell of women in Australia saving the placenta for consumption; supposedly it helps with post-partum depression because of all the hormones. They pounded it flat and froze it, just chopping off a little lozenge-sized bit to wash down in case of weeping fits/inanimate objects speaking.

The only thing I can think of, and I don't know enough about the placenta to know if this applies, but if you've been a vegetarian for a long time, I know your body will have difficulty digesting meat. This may only apply to red meat, I am not sure...

[so a placenta isn't red meat? is it the other other white meat? -ed.]

Insert Portnoy's Complaint joke here.

Greg - I dunno. I've been a vegetarian long enough than I forgot the meat classification of the various body parts...

I don't think the placenta would be considered a meat as it's membranes and blood vessels. And a beautiful and powerful the birth of my son was for me, I don't know that I would partake in eating the placenta as part of that celebration. Nor would a suck on frozen bits of it as a losenge(sp).
I think the vegetarian in the article abstained from partaking in the placenta feast because it's gross but didn't want to say that she was grossed out by the idea of it.
I can fully support planting a tree over the placenta. That makes sense to me as it helps your wee one grow, it only makes sense it do the same for a plant in honor of said wee one. I think that's a beautiful idea indeed.

Hi I Have just had a baby and brought my placenta home to make placenta pate i am trying to find a recipe do you know of one

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