Woman Sells $40 Birth Placenta Smoothies

If you found our post about bodybuilders consuming breast milk hard to stomach, wait till you hear what this woman in England puts in her smoothies. Kathryn Beale makes controversial birth placenta smoothies in her own kitchen and sells them to new mothers for £25 ($38) each.

The 41-year-old from Wiltshire county, in South West England, got involved in placentophagy – the consumption of birth placenta – a couple of years ago, after meeting the founder of the Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network. Her most popular product is a placenta capsule, priced at £150 ($224) per batch, but her most talked-about creation is a smoothie that contain a fist-sized chunk of chilled placenta blended with berries and bananas.

Kathryn insists that these products are perfectly safe and have several health benefits. “Most species of mammal eat their own placenta straight after birth, raw – it is normal in the animal kingdom,” she explained. “We are unusual in that we don’t routinely do it. It is full of iron, stem cells and hormones, and is reputed to help with milk production and post-natal depression.” The placenta products aren’t meant for everyone, though – just new mothers. “Women who want to use their placentas are tested during pregnancy, and if we know the placenta carries any blood-pathogens we will not use it,” she explained. “After the birth it then stays with the mum in cold bags with ice packs. I collect them very quickly, usually within 24 hours.”


Photos: Kathryn Beale

“The placenta is basically washed, sliced up, and dehydrated before being ground into powder and put into capsules for the mum to take, and only the mum. I do the smoothies as well, but they are not as popular. I’d say about 40% of women who come to me to have their placenta made into pills also have a smoothie. You honestly can’t taste the placenta – all the mums tell me it just tastes like fruit. There’s considerably more fruit in each smoothie than there is placenta.”

As much as Kathryn believes in the power of placentas, local officials are worried about the potential health risks of her products. They attempted to gain an emergency court order banning her from producing the smoothies and capsules. And although the motion failed, Kathryn has agreed to stop making them until officials inspect her hygiene standards.


Photos: Kathryn Beale

“I have voluntarily stopped taking bookings until they approve of everything,” she said. “I am assuming I will get a food hygiene rating, provided they do not decide to close me down. I do not believe I am doing anything that puts myself or the public in any danger. There are more than 50 people around the UK doing the same thing.”

Placentophagy is indeed popular among certain sections of society. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow have reportedly consumed placenta for health benefits. Kathryn claims that several mothers take their placentas home – either to cook or to bury in the garden. “If I am doing it at least it is safer, because it needs to be thoroughly dehydrated to kill all the germs,” she said.


Photos: Kathryn Beale

Meanwhile, the Swindon Borough Council said: “Our investigations continue and we are therefore unable to comment further at this stage. While the health benefits of this activity are not clear, the processes involved in the production of human placenta for human consumption present a number of potentially serious health risks, which explains this action.”

Sources: The Guardian, Western Daily Press

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