Of course this is a Japan thing. A company called Nihon Sofuken will sell you edible placenta jelly and placenta beverages for ¥12,000 ($148). And there are zero calories. The company says that “Many animals eat placenta in order to recover the health. We human being is said to eat this placenta of the mother with their family in the era of B.C. Recently placenta of animals and human being is refined and dosage by way of injection or oral medicine.”
At first I wondered “how do they harvest the placentas” and “I really don’t want to know,” but it turns out these are pig placentas. (Or, as Google Translate charmingly puts it, “swine placenta.”) But they’re fully examined for “arsenic, heavy metal, general bacterium, colon, genetic recombination, alergy, BSE [bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease].”
Nihon Sofuken boasts that whereas their competitors’ projects contain a maximum of 2000mg of placenta “due to animal smell,” their placenta jelly contains a full 10,000mg, or one-tenth of a placenta. The trick: They extract the swine blood, which causes “bad smell and rot,” by way of a process for which they’re trying to get a patent; they also use “peach flavor” to mask the animal smell and flavor.
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