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By most accounts, humans are quite tasty.
Despite these rave reviews, it's probably safe to assume that most people won't be inspired to find out for themselves anytime soon. Which is not surprising.
What is surprising, however, is the fact that in the U.S. there are no actual laws per se — with one exception — that prohibit the consumption of human flesh. In 49 states, you can at least theoretically eat human flesh and drink human blood in full view of a policeman and suffer no legal consequences. But if you try that in Idaho — the one exception — you could spend up to 14 years behind bars.
The absence of anti-cannibalism statutes (again, for the most part) doesn't mean, however, that the law is looking the other way.
For starters, of course, you can't kill someone and eat them. And it doesn't matter whether the person agrees to be killed (as was the case with Armin Meiwes, mentioned above, who spent eight years in prison for his act). Even with consent, it's still murder.
Second, laws forbid desecration of corpses.
But as Reuters revealed in an extensive 2017 expose, if you really want to buy human body parts, you can probably do so. While the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 prohibits the buying and selling of organs for transplantation, Reuters found that the law on organs used for education or research is lax.
"In most states," Reuters reported, "anyone can legally purchase body parts."
But be forewarned. In addition to questions about edibility, the prices for human body would be a deal breaker for most aspiring cannibals. In 2018, Westword newspaper examined the body trade in Colorado and found, for example, that one purveyor charged $200 for an elbow and $600 for an arm and shoulder.
Some people, however, have found affordable legal ways to indulge in cannibalism: Eat parts of yourself.
That's what a Reddit user calling himself IncrediblyShinyShart did last year after his foot was amputated following a motorcycle accident and the surgeon let him keep it. He invited friends over for dinner, which included tacos made from his foot meat. Their assessment of the flavor: "beefy."
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.