Baking with Blood

In what started out as an attempt to replicate Sanguinaccio Dolce as depicted in the TV series Hannibal, I’ve learned a lot about cooking with blood and I’ve documented my efforts here so that others might have an easier time should they choose to cook with blood themselves. New to me (and to most americans I’ve talked to) blood has been used in cooking forever. Here, I write about anemia and iron consumption and how consuming blood-based baked goods might be a better idea that it may initally seem. In a moment of existential crisis, I thought about the ethics/justification for consuming blood which I also include here. Finaly, I include some notes for a home chef on the sourcing, storage and carbon monoxide treatment of blood.

The identity ‘vampire’ means little to nothing to us. However, when we are blood drinkers, the label is impossible to shake – CJ

Sanguinaccio dolce

In the TV show, Hannibal uses almond milk, whole cloves, bovine blood and what appears to be dark chocolate. He serves it in an orange peel with lady fingers, blue berries, blackberries, raspberries and a whole cinnamon stick. Source

“Sanguinaccio dolce. A classic Neapolitan dessert, with almond milk. Easy on the stomach. Blood and chocolate.” - Hannibal, The Great Red Dragon [S03E08]

Sanguinnacio dolce is a simple dish, with four key ingridients: milk, sugar, chocolate and blood. Unsurprisingly, blood is the hardest to aquire now-a-days. Because blood must be cooked or frozen soon after slaughter, sanguinnacio dolce, a once popular southern Italian signature dish, is now restricted to those with easy access to livestock.

After calling a number of famers, I managed to aquire roughly half of a gallon of fresh pig blood. Starting with a recipie from Emiko Davies, I gave the bloody dolce a go.

It was: not good. The final result was grainy and had an iron heavy flavour profile. Working with the blood wasn’t much better, bringing up feelings similar to the first time I cooked with meat (general nasuea, slight disgust).

However, in working with the blood more, the disgust and nausea went away much as it did with meat. Now it is just another ingridient. I figured out ingridient ratios to fix the flavour profile. The grainy texture was fixed by mixing up the order of ingridiant addition (milk & chocolate first until melted, then add the blood). All in all, with a few nights work I had a wonderful dessert, more blood then I knew what to do with and an ever increasing interest in incorporating blood into my baking.

Recipes

Here are some original recipies that use blood as a main ingridient.

Blood Crepes

During cooking, the hue changes from a bright red to a chocolaty brown. Crepe is ready to flip at the end of the clip.

Summary: A wonderful chocolaty colored savory crepe full of warm flavours. Blood takes a backstage and builds a rich foundation. Reviews from two random tasters1: “Wow, this is really good” and “Damn, that’s good!”.

Iron per Serving: 13.4mg (10.8mg Heme, 2.6mg Non-Heme, 59% DV)

Per-Ingredient Iron Breakdown:

IngredientNon-Heme Quantity/ItemHeme Quantity/ItemItemsTotal Non-HemeTotal Heme
Egg Yolk0.5mg/Yolk0mg2 Yolks1mg0mg
Enriched Flour7.2mg/Cup0mg1 1/3 cup9.6mg0mg
Pigs Blood00.5mg/mL86mL0mg43mg

(3 crepes per serving, recipe makes ~12 crepes)

Blood: It’s quite beautiful once you’re past the squeamish phase

Ingredients

Recipe Preparation

  1. Melt butter in crepe skillet over medium heat. Routinely stir to get browned bits off the bottom of the pan. When butter is light amber colored, add Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ground Cloves. Stir to combine and remove from heat
    1. [why] Brown butter (aka buerre noisette) is made by heating butter to 120C. Since the water has already boiled off (we’re above 100C), the milk solids in butter brown (al a maillard reaction)2. What’s left after is an amber liquid with suspended dark solids that has a nutty aroma and taste. We add our Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves here as some of the aromatics we want in our food are soluble in fats but not so much in water. By toasting them in the butter here, we get kill two birds with one stone - more nutty flavour development (from the browning) and better extraction of the existing flavour (by dissolving in fat before emulsifying).
  2. Add two egg yolks to a medium sized bowl. Add milk, brown sugar, vanilla to bowl. Whisk to combine.
    1. [why] Adding the eggs first makes it easier to remove bits of shell that might sneak their way in there. But pshh that never happens… better safe than sorry though!
  3. Add flour gradually and mix just until clumps are smaller than marbles. No need to add salt - the blood already has enough in it.
  4. Add butter and blood to bowl and mix just until flour is wet - small clumps are okay!
  5. Cover batter and rest in fridge for 30m. (if you’re strapped for time, 15 minutes is good enough)
    1. [why] Letting your batter rest in the fridge allows the flour to hydrate and the gluten to develop. For most crepes, you’d let it rest longer but it’s alright (maybe preferable?) if this one is a bit tooth-y so we can cut it short.
  6. Heat the same skillet you browned the butter in over medium-high heat. Ladle about 1/4-1/3 cup batter into skillet and swirl (with your wrist!) to thinly and evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Cook until completely and evenly brown on one side and then flip (see gif above!). Cook for another 1-2m then transfer to a plate. Optionally, cover with foil to keep warm while cook the rest.

Serve crepes with nutella/chocolaty filling and lemon curd3. Alternatively, nutella and bananas work well too - experiment to find out what you like!

Do Ahead: Batter can be made 1 day ahead, but leave out the blood. Keep chilled until ready to cook. Stir in blood and let sit 5 minutes before cooking.

Recipe Notes

References: Base crepe recipe from bon appétit. Starting blood to egg substitution ratios from Nordic Food Lab4.

Blood Banana Bread

[my friends warning a stranger] “It’s blood bread! It has blood in it!!!”

[thinking they are joking] “Oh you guys! thanks for the bread. Bye!”

Iron per Serving: 8.7-9.1mg (5.4mg Heme, 3.3-3.7mg Non-Heme, 48-51%DV)

Per-Ingredient Iron Breakdown:

IngredientNon-Heme Quantity/ItemHeme Quantity/ItemItemsTotal Non-HemeTotal Heme
Enriched Flour7.2mg/Cup0mg1 1/3 cup9.6mg0mg
Pigs Blood0086mL0mg43mg
Pecans2.3mg/cup0mg1/2-1 cup1.15-2.3mg0mg
Walnuts2.5mg/cup0mg1/2-1 cup1.25-2.5mg0mg
Dark Chocolate11.9mg/100g0mg110g13.1mg0mg
Bananas0.3mg/banana0mg4-5g1.2-1.5mg0mg

(1 slice per serving, recipe makes ~8 slices)

Ingredients

Recipe Preparation

  1. If blood is frozen, set out to thaw. Preheat oven to 350F, lightly grease and line a 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 loaf pan with parchment paper with overhang for removing the bread later.
  2. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Routinely stir to get browned bits off the bottom of the pan. When butter is light amber colored, add Nutmeg and Ground Cloves. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
    1. [why] Brown butter (aka buerre noisette) is made by heating butter to 120C. Since the water has already boiled off (we’re above 100C), the milk solids in butter brown (al a maillard reaction)5. What’s left after is an amber liquid with suspended dark solids that has a nutty aroma and taste. We add our Nutmeg and Cloves here as some of the aromatics we want in our food are soluble in fats but not so much in water. By toasting them in the butter here, we get kill two birds with one stone - more nutty flavour development (from the browning) and better extraction of the existing flavour (by dissolving in fat before emulsifying).
  3. In a large/medium bowl (or a stand mixer), beat Brown Sugar, Greek Yogurt, Blood and Browned Butter until [include visual marker here], about 4 minutes.
  4. If using a stand mixer, reduce speed to low and add flour and stir until just combined (like pancake batter).
  5. Roughly Chop Dark Chocolate, Walnuts and Pecans. Smash bananas if not using a stand mixer.
  6. Add bananas and baking powder to bowl, mix until combined. Fold in Chocolate, Walnuts and Pecans.
  7. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, roughly 60 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool 1 hour if you can resist taste-testing.

Bonus: Sprinkle raw sugar on the top before baking for extra crunch

Do Ahead: Batter can be made 1 day ahead and kept in the fridge, but leave out the baking powder. When you’re ready to bake, add it and mix gently to incorporate.

Sanguinaccio Dolce (Blood Pudding)

The first batch of the first blood dish: Sanguinaccio Dulce, Take 1

Summary: A rich chocolate with a depthy but unique base, pudding at room temperature, half way to Gelato when refrigerated. Optional cinnamon alleviates metallic notes of blood.

Iron per Serving: 14.5mg (12.5mg Heme, 2mg Non-Heme, 81% DV6)

IngredientNon-Heme Quantity/ItemHeme Quantity/ItemItemsTotal Non-HemeTotal Heme
Dark Chocolate11.9mg/100g0mg17020.23mg0mg
Pigs Blood00.5mg/mL250mL0mg125mg

Ingredients

Recipe Preparation

Chocolate and milk in double boiler
  1. Add milk, white and brown sugar, cinnamon and chocolate to double boiler (or a bowl over a pot with simmering water).
  2. Mix lightly as to not let the chocolate burn until the chocolate is mostly melted
  3. Add blood and whisk slowly until mixture is thick and gooey with a consistency similar to a cooled pudding or hot custard.
  4. Take off heat and serve warm (traditional) or cold (my preference) with ladyfingers or other dipping biscuit

Makes 10-12 servings, lasts 1-2 weeks in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

References: Starting recipe from Emiko Davies

Fruity Sanguinaccio Dolce

Summary: A rich chocolate with fruity notes, pudding at room temperature, half way to Gelato when refrigerated, creamy pie filling when frozen.

Iron per Serving: 14.5mg (12.5mg Heme, 2mg Non-Heme, 81% DV6:1)

IngredientNon-Heme Quantity/ItemHeme Quantity/ItemItemsTotal Non-HemeTotal Heme
Dark Chocolate11.9mg/100g0mg17020.23mg0mg
Pigs Blood00.5mg/mL250mL0mg125mg

Ingredients

Recipe Preparation

  1. Add milk, wine, brown sugar, and chocolate to double boiler (or a bowl over a pot with simmering water).
  2. Mix occassionally as to not let the chocolate burn until the chocolate is mostly melted
  3. Add blood and whisk slowly until mixture is thick and gooey with a consistency similar to a cooled pudding or hot custard.
  4. Take off heat and serve warm (traditional) or cold (my preference) with ladyfingers or other dipping biscuit

Makes 10-12 servings, lasts 1-2 weeks in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

Recipie Date: 3/2020, last original recipie made in Grove

Ethics of Blood Consumption

Iron deficiency affects more people than any other condition, constituting a public health condition of epidemic proportions. More subtle in its manifestations than, for example, protein-energy malnutrition, iron deficiency exacts its heaviest overall toll in terms of ill-health, premature death and lost earnings.7

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world7:1 and the heme-iron (which is found in meats, organs and blood) is the most bio-available natural iron source available. Iron deficiency anemia rates are not equal across demographics - women of menstruating age are, by a great margin, the most affected. In addition, iron deficiency anemia heaviliy impacts infants and children as well. Today, more than 1.6 billion people suffer from anemia8. Even in a “first-world” country like the USA, iron deficiency anemia isn’t uncommon9. Globally, almost 47% of preschool-age children have anemia; anemia contributes to one out of every five maternal deaths7:2.

Put simply, it’s a big problem. If you’re female (or estrogen haver), there’s a large chance you’ve either been anemic or will be anemic.

“I was woken up when my body hit the floor. My first thought was ‘Sophia, why did you lie down on the bathroom floor? You’re in your pajamas.’” - On fainting due to anemia, my friend Sophia

Luckily, the solution is seemingly simple: eat more iron.

To reduce rates of anemia, the WHO has developed a “comprehensive package of public health measures.”10 However, while we wait for large scale change, billions of people have an immediate need to improve their situation.

Adding blood to your diet accomplishes the first and most important components of the WHOs plan to beat anemia. If you don’t have access to fortified cereals or supplements11, simply adding blood to your diet can help ensure you’re consuming enough iron.

But where does one get blood to cook with in the first place?

Of all [slaughter house] waste products, the waste in the form of blood has the highest polluting value. Blood itself has a high BOD12: 150,000 - 200,000 mg/l, the extreme value being 405,000 mg/l. (Domestic wastewater has a BOD of 300 mg/l). In the killing, bleeding and skinning phases, blood is produced which, when completely sewered, leads to a total waste load of 10 kg BOD per ton of LWK13. A waste load of up to 3.0 kg BOD per ton of LWK may occur in wastewater flowing out of the killing-area and the hide-removal-area. (source)

Many slaughter houses have so much excess blood that, even after selling what they can for fertilizer/pig feed/other uses, they still dump tonnes down the drain. Butchers do much of the same14, but seem more willing to sell blood to customers if one inquires15. In my case, I simply had to ask and I got blood for free in a win-win situation: I got blood to cook with and they got rid of something they would otherwise have had to dispose of. (see Sourcing Blood for details). A “one mans trash is anothers treasure” kind of situation if you will.

Considering all of these factors, adding blood into your cooking repertoire is a classic ecofeminist move16, - it empowers women (who do most of the kitchen labour around the world) to improve their own health through accessible and ecofriendly action. And on top of that, if you’re able to get blood for free, you’re not supporting the killing of animals, only making sure that everything produced gets used.

Blood consumption where an animal wasn’t killed toes the ethical boundaries developed by Ethical Vegetarianism/Veganism. As long as you’re not contributing to the killing of animals and simply diverting blood from a environmentally taxing disposal pathway, you’re in the green.

“There’s some people commenting on the fact that I’m vegan and that I made cookies. This is really simple to understand because consensually I’m consensually giving my blood to somebody who is consensually eating my blood (or rather, would have conceptually eaten my blood). And that’s no different than kissing somebody or breastfeeding or oral sex. Anything, anything like that. It’s all on the same. You’re just consensually ingesting another person’s fluids. It’s not the norm, but I don’t think it’s all that strange” - Jamie Vulva

Blood consumption may also help address some worries with vegetarianism/veganism, namely the financial inaccessibility of nutritionally complete meat-free diets. Veganism in the United States17 may be a practice of privilege, especially along lines of socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity and education. Further compounding issues of privilege, anemia rates are heavily correlated with socioeconomic status, at least in children (even when you control for red meat consumption, BMI, Age, etc.):

Rate of Child Anemia vs Socioeconomic Status in Tennessee, Rural China, Korea and various Low and Middle Income Countries (how I made this figure)

Similar positive correlations of privledge and low rates of anemia can be seen across educational and racial gradients18.

Your health and my health are reflexive of one another, and their health hangs in this balance. (PMS Vol1)

Until a nutritionally complete vegetarian/vegan diet is attainable for everyone, maybe (just maybe) a “vegitarianism+” (where the plus represents blood consumption without supporting animal slaughter) is an alternative worth considering. I admit, it’s a bit odd but it’s a practical and more ecofriendly alternative to conventional diets that don’t work for everyone. If you’ve got a local butcher: ask them if they can save you some blood! Make a dish! Killing animals is probably unethical. Eating blood doesn’t have to be.

Jamie Vulva

"“I didn’t make them as any sort of feminist statement or anything like that. They’re just an idea that I had and I’m the kind of person who’s like: '‘Why not make these? I have the means to do it. It could be really interesting and cool.’ Granted, it’s kind of a weird thing to do, but they’re just cookies.” - Jamie Vulva

Source

Jamie Vulva made cookies with her menstrual blood. They were “too floury” for her taste, thus she never made them again. However, the picture she posted on her tumblr, for lack of a better descriptor, blew up on the Internet. Often it can be found in a post trying to “prove” all feminists are crazy19.

Menstrual blood cookies

The discrepancy in the reaction of the internet to her menstrual blood jar (a jar in which she puts her vaginal discharge) verses that to her cooking with mentrual blood is interesting. Why is it that cooking blood is that much worse than, say, painting with it? Is it the act of consumption? Does the problem lie in that is menstrual blood, and that cooking with “normal” blood is permissible? Even though the original “I made menstrual blood cookies!” post was made in 2011, I’ve yet to find anything similar that’s come out since then.

Jamie Vulva now runs a vegan restaurant in Olympia, Washington! I’m curious both about her cooking with menstrual blood and how she handled the unwanted Internet attention. I’ve reached out to her because I’m curious both about her cooking with menstrual blood and how she handled the unwanted Internet attention. She’s yet to respond.

The closest I’ve found is this picture (below) of menstrual pancakes that may or may not be Jamie Vulva’s doing.

Source

Menstrual Fluid Cookies

Transcription from a video posted in 2013 by Jamie Vulva

(edited for succintness and clarity, original can be found here)

(00:00): My name is Jamie Vuvla and I’m the person who made the menstrual blood cookies. I made these cookies last December and there have been people chipping on the internet about them ever since. This is the second time they’ve been posted on reddit (the first time it got buried, and that’s totally fine). I figured I’d make a vlog, just explaining everything because a lot of people are making assumptions and have some false ideas about blood and how it works. I don’t want that. I will start by saying that the cookies are made with real blood. There are 5 tablespoons of blood in the cookie recipe. They’re made with fresh blood from the most recent cycle in December. I made them immediately after I was finished bleeding and collecting blood and all that. There have been lot of questions about the color of the cookies.

(01:25): They’re like red velvet looking almost. And that’s because I added some neon pink food coloring to balance out the, the browning that would occur with the blood. I didn’t want to make a gross looking cookie. I wanted them to be like aesthetically pleasing. There have been some remarks about clotting. There were clots in that five tablespoons. I don’t pass a lot of clots, but there were some in there. When I mixed the batter, they just kind of dispersed. There’s also been people talking about coagulation and about how blood coaggulates immediately. Menstrual blood is a little different. Menstrual blood is actually an incorrect, I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily incorrect, but it’s not quite the right descriptor because what we pass is not blood. There’s blood in it, but it’s best described as menstrual fluid.

(02:38): It’s made up of uterine lining, cervical mucus and vaginal secretions as well as like water and all kinds of other stuff. There’s absolutely blood in there, but it does not make up the majority of what is in menstrual fluid. It’s just what makes it red. There’s also this “enzyme thing” in in the uterine lining called plasmin that prevents the blood from clotting - or coagulating, sorry, excuse me, we pass clots. That’s why it doesn’t coagulate and get all gross on our bodies as we pass it. Which is really wonderful because that would be horrible. It works a little bit differently than most people think because when most people think of blood, they think “coagulation” which doesn’t make sense.

(03:50): Menstrual fluid or menstrual blood aren’t like regular blood. I feel like I need to also communicate that my blood jar and the blood cookies are two completely separate things. I have a blood jar that I started filling in 2009. I haven’t collected in over six months just because I haven’t really felt like it. But that is the jar that’s pictured. I would not use that in any sort of baking ingredient. I don’t even open it in the house. I wear a mask when I open it. It smells terrible and it’s horrible for you to breathe in those fumes. I would never try to feed that to somebody; that could very well be lethal.

(05:06): So yeah, the cookies are made with fresh blood. I want that to be clear, fresh blood, not old blood. I’m not trying to kill anybody. I started collecting my blood in order to monitor how much how much blood I was losing, because I’ve always been a heavy bleeder. I had my son and I started bleeding even more. And then I got a Paraguard copper IUD and one of the side effects of that is having heavier periods. Most women bleed like between two to six tablespoons. I usually lose about three quarters of a cup which is a lot. That was why I started collecting - I wouldn’t have know that otherwise. I was just like: there’s like blood everywhere, all the time.

(06:12): I can’t keep up with this. Oh my God. What is happening? So yeah, I started collecting my blood because of that. It sits in a jar in my bathroom. Like I said, I don’t really open it very often. I only really open it when I’m adding to it and that hasn’t been in a while. Usually keep aseparate, smaller jar that I’ll add to for a bit, because I don’t like to open the main jar very often. So I’ll keep one in the fridge and add to it for awhile. And then once it gets close to being full, I’ll transfer the contents to the big jar.

(06:58): How do I collect the blood? I use my diva cap. It’s just a little silicone cup that goes inside your vagina. Your cervix sits in the cup and it drips [makes dripping sounds] into the cup. Then you pull it out and dump it. I dump it into a jar. Otherwise it just goes into the toilet. Really cool. They’re super environmentally friendly and fairly inexpensive in the grand scheme of sanitary products. I made the cookies as a gift for somebody. They never received the cookies because I didn’t like how it turned out. But originally, they were made as a gift for somebody whom I knew would appreciate them.

(08:21): I didn’t make them as any sort of feminist statement or anything like that. They’re just an idea that I had and I’m the kind of person who’s like: “Why not make these? I have the means to do it. It could be really interesting and cool.” Granted, it’s kind of a weird thing to do, but they’re just cookies. If you really think about it, it’s just my unfertilized reproductive cycle. What do you think eggs are? Exactly. That is that just out of a chicken. It wasn’t anything crazy. It was just an idea that I had. So I did it. A lot of people think I like did it for attention or whatever, and I didn’t. Sometimes people do weird stuff and I think that’s that’s okay.

(09:34): And that should be embraced not demonized. [sighs] Did I eat them? I didn’t really. I had a bite of one just to see what it tasted like - that way I knew what I theoretically was going to give to this person. And that’s how I knew I was unhappy with the cookies. The whole idea of eating my menstrual blood, isn’t very appealing to me. I don’t really like the taste of blood in the first place. And granted, I understand it would be completely different than when baked into a cookie. I just don’t like the taste of it. Nor do I have any desire eat my menstrual fluid. So yeah, I had one bite of them. And then I kept them around for awhile and debated giving them to the person who ordered them because they said that they still wanted them, even though I wasn’t happy with the way they turned out. But ultimately, I decided I would rather make them another batch later on.

(10:53): There’s some people commenting on the fact that I’m vegan and that I made cookies. This is really simple to understand because consensually I’m consensually giving my blood to somebody who is consensually eating my blood (or rather, would have conceptually eaten my blood). And that’s no different than kissing somebody or breastfeeding or oral sex. Anything, anything like that. It’s all on the same. You’re just consensually ingesting another person’s fluids. It’s not like the norm, but I don’t think it’s all that strange. I get that putting them in cookies is a little bit weird, but I don’t think it makes me horribly disgusting or a bad person or anything like that. I think it just makes me adventurous and maybe a little bit creative. It’s fine if you don’t view it that way, or if you think I need Jesus or I’m horribly disgusting or whatever. You don’t have to be my friend. You don’t have to eat my cookies. I’m the only one who tasted them. Nobody else did.

(12:26): Anyway, this video is too long, so I’m going to stop now.

Assorted Notes

Handling

Cook Time

It’s often hard to know when things are done, as the blood turns a deep brown when heated. This means that perfectly-done cookies and overdone cookies look very similar. Until you get used to cooking with blood, the easy way to fix this is to trust your timer - when it beeps, take them out!

Removing Clots

Some sources4:120 recommend blending your blood after it’s defrosted to, at least I assume, prevent any clots from making their way into the final product. I find that straining the blood is much more convenient, and allows me to strain directly into a weighing dish as not to waste blood in the blender.

Recipie testers straining blood

Portioning

Instead of freezing large batches, I recommend freezing in ice cube trays - measuring out so each blood cube (aka a blube) is 43g (one egg white equivalent). Three cubes (129g) are two egg equivalents which makes for easy portioning.

Defrosting

I, being someone who often cooks on a whim instead of a plan, often want to speed up the defrosting process. All my attempts to microwave defrost blood have resulted in at least some charring. (And believe me when I say you don’t want to know what burnt blood a la microwave smells like.) Ultimately, I’ve found a warm bowl of water to most effective.

Blood defrosting in a bowl of warm water

Sourcing

My process of obtaining the original 7 liters of pigs blood was, at the very least, not streamlined. I called 15+ increasingly distant places that sold specialty meat or did their own butchering. I eventually found a very kind farmer that was willing to help - in the end he asked if it was okay if he saved the blood from a clients pig for me. However, other people seem to have had better luck than me in finding a butcher willing to sell them blood, so your mileage may vary.

Blood in a pail of ice, next to a larger pail of ice that was used for transport
Blood in a pail of ice positioned in the trunk of a car

Carbon Monoxide: Maintaining that Boyish Pink

Inspired by this thread, I prepared carbon monoxide21 and bubbled the gas through some blood.

Carbon monoxide treatment setup

From left to right I have: the reaction producing carbon monoxide, a cold trap and, finaly, the blood. In the bottom right hand corner, there is a small scintilation vial with blood in it that I purged with {N2|chem} and then flowed carbon monoxide through. The glassware available to me at this point was minimal due to SARS-CoV-2 induce lab closures. Because of this, I was using the cold trap instead of a more suitable substitute for cooling the gas. The cold trap was nessesary as the carbon monoxide produced was hot enough to cook the blood on contact. When stopping this reaction I was quite tired (it was well past midnight) and I removed the reaction flask from the hotplate without venting the system to atmosphere. This caused a vacuum and ended up pulling water from the cold trap (which was there to dissolve any excess sulphuric/formic acid vapour given off by the reaction) up and into the reaction flask. The water quickly boiled and increased the pressure of the system and thus blew the stopper off of the flask. This released enough carbon monoxide into the fume hood that I was worried for my safety.

Messenger texts about me possibly being poisoned

My symptoms for the next 24 hours lead me to belive that I was only (at a maximum) in the 200-400ppm exposure zone. I am thankful that I was not working alone. I had difficulties walking home. The next morning I woke up confused and gave a very hazy presentation about pink capitalism in the gender neutral clothing industry and continued on with life without further complications.

Take away: don’t work very late at night, and if you do, make sure you have the right setup with extra stages to prevent backflow accidents. Always work with a partner.

Sadly, due to SARS-CoV-2, this lab space was shut down the next day and I was unable to retrieve my samples. All for naught.

  1. Increase iron intake
  2. Control infection^[Meaning Immunization and control programs for malaria, hookworm and schistosomiasis. In many developing countries, iron deficiency anaemia is aggravated by worm infections, malaria and other infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis.7:4
  3. Improve nutritional status

  1. As a disclaimer, they were hungry college students ↩︎

  2. info from bon appetit ↩︎

  3. See Blood Lemon Curd if you’re feeling adventurous. Alternatively, I used this recipie for a conventional Lemon Curd. ↩︎

  4. Blood and egg by the Nordic Food Lab ↩︎ ↩︎

  5. info from bon appetit ↩︎

  6. Daily Value as defined by the FDA. Not the best metric as needs vary person-to-person, see How much do you need? for more details. ↩︎ ↩︎

  7. https://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/ida/en/ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  8. https://www.who.int/vmnis/anaemia/prevalence/summary/anaemia_data_status_t2/en/ ↩︎

  9. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/ ↩︎

  10. The World Health Organization (WHO) breaks their strategy to reduce world wide anemia rates into a three part plan7:3: ↩︎

  11. I don’t want to encourage anyone to not seek out these arguably better methods of intaking iron. That said, if you need iron supplementation and aren’t getting it through fortified foods or supplements because of availability or associated gastrointestional issues, blood represents an alternative method of increasing iron intake. Find what works for you, but find it. ↩︎

  12. BOD level is a common metric for water pollution.http://butane.chem.uiuc.edu/pshapley/Environmental/L31/1.html ↩︎

  13. Live Weight Killed, a common meat processing measurement ↩︎

  14. source? ↩︎

  15. source? ↩︎

  16. If, say, we started to consume so much blood that animals were being killed just to produce it then that would be a problem. I don’t think we’re going to get there any time soon ↩︎

  17. This is not the case in France (at least according to the numbers) nor in places where vegetarianism is considered the norm. ↩︎

  18. ??SOURCE?? ↩︎

  19. My favourite is this one titled “LGBT Propaganda” ↩︎

  20. Both https://svensktkott.se/recept/hemlagad-blodpudding/ and https://receptfavoriter.se/recept/paltbroed.html ↩︎

  21. via the dehydration of formic acid with concentrated sulfuric acid, a similar setup can be seen in this youtube video ↩︎