I Want to Eat… Dirt?
You would love to munch on something refreshing, and full of minerals. But you really want this snack to be natural tasting… or maybe dark, like chocolate, but not quite the same… and crunchy.
Are you craving dirt?
Don’t be alarmed. Research shows you are not the only one longing for this earthy compound. Also known as geophagy, munching on dirt and clay has been documented throughout history as a way of regaining minerals, particularly in tropic environments. Soil often holds high levels of iron, copper, and calcium, all of which are hugely important during pregnancy.
While this craving is less publicized in the United States, women here on our soil (and apparently eating our soil) still admit to wanting a dirty, little snack on occasion. According to some reports, this was most common in the South and throughout other warm states.
Recent studies have also acknowledged the possible benefits of this atypical behavior. Uncontaminated dirt and clay may build the immune system and even provide necessary vitamins to the consumer.
But before you grab a bowl of dirt from the backyard, and curl up on the couch with a big spoon, remember that most studies are still in their infancy stages. Though geophagy is not a new concept, we don’t recommend trying it – the idea of eating dirt is definitely unconventional in mainstream medicine practices.
What do you think? Is this research completely bizarre, or have you and your friends ever experienced these cravings?
[Photo credit: Jim Franco]