In a previous post I expressed my intense dislike of smoothies. Sad to relate, things have taken a turn for the worse, and that’s a gross understatement. I mean gross in the metaphorical sense. I should alert you now to the fact that many of you may find the subject matter distasteful. If you can say that you find it so in the literal sense, then I may be forced to review our relationship.

A woman in the US was recently arrested for giving advice on how to make smoothies. I think this is fair enough. I think you could make a case for banging up any and every person involved in making these disgusting preparations. Some may feel that this is extreme, but since drinking a smoothie is akin to drinking the contents of a spittoon, I feel it’s justified. Here’s the really horrible part. The advice was on making smoothies from your newly born child’s placenta.

For a while now, there’s been a growing trend for this. I seem to recollect that the New York Times published a review it called ‘The Placenta Cookbook,’ and a quick internet search will turn up any number of recipes for what apparently tastes like mild liver. I am now reliably informed that placenta works rather well in dishes traditionally made with beef. What on earth is going on here? I decided to do a bit more delving, if I can use that word in this context. I picked the following up from Fox News, so it may not be wholly accurate, but there’s plenty more where this came from.

‘The growing popularity of this phenomenon has to do with the belief that consuming the placenta may offer a new mother certain health benefits, although there are no scientific studies to back up these claims. For example, some people believe that the placenta can help with the treatment of postpartum depression, or “baby blues.”

It has been suggested in the past that postpartum depression in some patients is spurred by the quickly shifting levels of female hormones after giving birth, and that by eating the placenta, the hormones will stabilize and postpartum depression can therefore be prevented.

Another thought is that the placenta can offer some degree of pain relief due to certain chemicals contained within the tissue. In ancient Chinese medicine, placental extracts are commonly mixed with herbs taken to relieve pain, stimulate milk production, and even to cure impotence.’

That last one is a bit of an anomaly, since I can’t see any self respecting bloke eating placenta except under extreme pressure from his New Age wife and her hippy friends.

As it turns out, humans are one of few mammals that don’t generally eat their own placentas, though it is fairly common in some cultures. However, it might just be that the reason it’s not that usual is that, to be frank, the practice amounts to cannibalism, and there are pretty strong taboos against this in just about every society you care to mention, unless you’re a modern day nutjob or attention seeker. I don’t suppose you will be surprised to learn that the shameless doyenne of self publicising, the completely talentless and extremely tedious bargearse Kim Kardashian, jumped on the placenta smoothies bandwagon. Mind you, if I were a woman and married to the equally talentless and relentlessly misogynistic Kanye West, I might be prepared to do anything for a bit of light relief. More alarmingly, though, another jumper was Alicia Silverstone, whom I have always credited with more sense.

Fascinating factoids. Las Vegas is the placenta eating capital of the US. Some mothers there eat it raw. From my point of view, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and this applies particularly to eating placentas. Vegas also offers several placenta encapsulation services, which is just plain weird. Who is going to wander round with a bottle of placenta capsules in their handbag?