Matthue wrote a (gulp!) interesting (gag!) piece about eating placenta.
I think he missed a teachable moment for Kveller readers–namely: Is placenta kosher?
I am not in any way a rabbinical or Talmudic scholar but posit that it is most definitely NOT kosher for the following reasons:
1. The placenta is full of blood and blood is most definitely treif. All kosher meat must be soaked and salted to remove all blood. It’s a long shot to think that this can adequately be done for a placenta. (But, maybe it can. I’m not a butcher.)
2. It is a human organ and since humans do not chew their cud nor have cleft hooves, humans are not kosher mammals.
3. Additionally, one of the Noahide laws (see here for a full discussion of this topic) which Judaism applies to all people, not just Jews, is “aver min hachai,” the prohibition of eating a part of a still-living being. (This evokes the cartoon image of the caveman who rips the leg off a living animal and eats it.) In my opinion, this rule can reasonably be applied to the placenta from a living woman (and/or baby.)
So, in case any of you are tempted, and keep kosher, take a pass on the placenta.
Check here for Matthue’s original post on placenta being the new gourmet treat. And our resident grandmother doesn’t just have opinions on this, she also tells you what she thinks about pumping, cell phones, and crying it out.