Why do some people eat dirt

Cultures Around the World Read more from
Chapter Cultural Geography

The practice of eating dirt, called geophagy, is most commonly practiced by pregnant and lactating women. Since women’s bodies require additional nutrients during pregnancy and lactation, the body craves clays and dirts that carry these additional minerals. This practice is most common in Africa, but the practice spread to the United States with the forced migration of Africans during slavery. Geophagy is now also practiced in the southern United States, but the practice has become a cultural rather than physiological action.


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