Will Kim Kardashian Modernize #Placenta Eating?

The reason I’m taking a curious interest in Kim Kardashian’s plans to eat her placenta, is because I’m actually keen to see how American doctors react to this.  And there’s a reason why.

One of my oldest and closest friends is Hmong American.  The Hmong are an ethnic minority from SE Asia, and live in an extensive community in mid-western USA, a community which I’ve visited frequently with my friend when I stayed with her parents or relatives.  My friend’s mother was a shaman, and she worked with local hospitals translating concepts of health, illness and healing from the Hmong perspective for American doctors with Hmong patients, and vice versa.

childbirth in ancient egypt

Giving birth in ancient Egypt

When a woman gives birth, the Hmong believe that the placenta should be carefully buried under or near the family house, because it holds and guards the spirit of the child.  They believe that if this is not done, then the child will fall very ill and could even die. There are many cultures that have similar beliefs. The Egyptians believed that a child is born with two souls, and one of them was housed in the placenta. So after birth, particularly for royalty, a special tomb would be erected for the burial of the placenta, like for a person. Interestingly where placenta was or still is eaten, as in China, Jamaica,  and among smaller tribes as the Araucaninan of Argentina, it is usually ceremonially eaten by close relatives or fed to the child.  This is symbolic of the same philosophy – i.e. preserving the spirit of the child within the home or by the family.

The problem for the Hmong living in the U.S. was, that American doctors couldn’t fathom this.  They believed that the Hmong were actually eating the placenta (though they actually weren’t)! Placenta-eating is not (more…)

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Lessons on the Spirit of Competition from a Cooking Show

The  joke in our family is that our cat, Kitty, wants to try out for the T.V. show Master Chef Australia!   She is completely taken with the Master Chef aprons that my Australian friend Don, very generously mailed me, after I told him that I was addicted to the series.

My addiction is quite strange actually! Firstly, because I’m not an avid television fan.  I was raised without T.V. and even later, never developed a compulsion for it.  And secondly, of the little time I watch T.V., food or cooking programs are not on the list.  (more…)

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