Sorry for the bad pun.
My friend Marie tells us this about early modern mummy consumption:
"As for Jonathan's comment, my understanding is that "mummy" or "mummia" was a brew that involved boiled parts of dead bodies, mixed with other stuff, and that drinking it was thought to ward off death."
Given that some of my own work is about how early modern folk attempt to counteract death and decay through poetry, I wonder if there's more to be said about mummia. In addition to the notion I get from reading Donne that the corpse is an animated body even when it's resurrected for judgement day (see "The Relic"), I'm also thinking about the anxiety/fascination early modern writers seem to have about the affinity between corpses and flowers, especially in Act 4 of The Winter's Tale and in Acts 4-5 of Hamlet.
Ophelia sings about decking a corpse with flowers, is pulled to death with flowers, gets flowers thrown in her grave, "and from her fair and unpolluted flesh may violets spring."
What I'm getting at is that I think the boundary between life (flowers, living bodies) and death (corpses, mummies) was much more tenuous in the early modern period than it is today. Either tenuous and fluid, or organized in a different way. I've been thinking about this because I'm still intrigued by the "Shakespeare and Technology" panel at SAA, which seemed to want to redefine (and sometimes even blur) the boundaries between early modern nature and technology, human and machine.
I know that's kind of a knee-jerk early modern materialist argument, that boundaries were tenuous, everything was less fixed, but I guess I still think we can learn stuff from thinking this way.