What Is A Placenta?
“The placenta is an organ that develops in your uterus during pregnancy. This structure provides oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby and removes waste products from your baby’s blood. The placenta attaches to the wall of your uterus, and your baby’s umbilical cord arises from it.” – Mayo Clinic
Women Are Doing What?
For those who don’t know what this is, some women, for at least the past decade, have been eating their placentas, for imaginary “health” benefits. These women will typically be found in the anti-vaxx community.
They either put it in smoothies, fry it, or grind it up to put into pills. (Please don’t do this. You’re not an elk.)
The Importance Of Reading In Context
If someone tries to use a stand-alone verse to back up their position, it’s imperative that you read the verse in context, to see if that verse is truly applicable to the argument.
Placentophagy In The Bible?
Unfortunately, some poorly researched websites claim that the practice of placentophagy is found in Scripture.
Don’t believe everything you read.
“More elaborate details of early placentophagy were documented by the ancient Israelites as it was written in the Bible. Deuteronomy 4 reads: “And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and thy daughters.” Now, different countries are practicing placentophagy, including Western nations like United States.” – 14 Things You Won’t Believe Moms Do To Their Newborns
Wow someone didn’t do their research!
Read Your Bible In Context!
Deuteronomy 4 absolutely DOES not say anything about placentophagy!
The quoted partial verse is in Deuteronomy 28. It does mention a siege during warfare that is so bad that people will resort to cannibalism, but again, that’s not even remotely the same thing as “documented ancient Israelite practice” of God commanding people to eat their own placenta!
King James Version
“52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.
53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:
54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:
55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.” – Deuteronomy 28:52-55 KJV
English Standard Version
“52 They shall besiege you in all your towns, until your high and fortified walls, in which you trusted, come down throughout all your land. And they shall besiege you in all your towns throughout all your land, which the Lord your God has given you.
53 And you shall eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your sons and daughters, whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you.
54 The man who is the most tender and refined among you will begrudge food to his brother, to the wife he embraces, and to the last of the children whom he has left,
55 so that he will not give to any of them any of the flesh of his children whom he is eating, because he has nothing else left, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in all your towns.” – Deuteronomy 28:52-55 ESV
Warning people of an impending siege that will be so bad that people will resort to eating their own children, which is cannibalism, is not even remotely similar to voluntarily eating your own placenta because you think it has “nutrients” or whatever.
Originally published to Quora on June 19, 2018