The placenta economy: From trashed to treasured bio-products

European Journal of Women's Studies 25 (2):138-153 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This article examines the human placenta not only as a scientific, medical and biological entity but as a consumer bio-product. In the emergent placenta economy, the human placenta is exchanged and gains potentiality as food, medicine and cosmetics. Drawing on empirical research from the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Japan, the authors use feminist cultural analysis and consumer theories to discuss how the placenta is exchanged and gains commodity status as a medical supplement, smoothie, pill and anti-ageing lotion. Placenta preparers and new mothers cite medical properties and spirituality as reasons for eating or encapsulating the placenta, reinstating ideas of the liberated good mother. Meanwhile, the cosmetics industry situates the placenta as an extract and hence a commodity, re-naturalizing it as an anti-ageing, rejuvenating and whitening bio-product. The authors conclude that, in the emergent bio-economy, the dichotomy between the inner and the outer body is deconstructed, while the placenta gains clinical and industrial as well as affective value.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,452

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

A Metaphysical Account of the Placenta as a Shared Organ.Elisabeth Parish - 2021 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 21 (4):587-604.
The Placenta as an Organ of the Fetus.Jay J. Bringman & Robert B. Shabanowitz - 2015 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 15 (1):31-37.
The Metaphysical Status of the Placenta.Becket Gremmels, Peter J. Cataldo, Elliott Louis Bedford & Cornelia R. Graves - 2014 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 14 (2):295-333.
Placental relations.Maria Fannin - 2014 - Feminist Theory 15 (3):289-306.
The Placental Microbiome: A New Site for Policing Women's Bodies.Saray Ayala & Lauren Freeman - 2016 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 9 (1):121-148.


Added to PP

18 (#844,618)

6 months
7 (#621,554)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Reproductive consumption.Ruth Fletcher - 2006 - Feminist Theory 7 (1):27-47.
Sacred Waste.Phyllis Passarielio - 1994 - American Journal of Semiotics 11 (1-2):109-127.

Add more references