Can you now enjoy a handful of dirt as your evening snack? Although more research is needed, according to a fresh study by Cornell University, mud may be good for the stomach.
Sera Young, a researcher at the university said that geophagy, or eating dirt, has been reported in various countries on all continents. Though researchers were unable to find the exact cause for the desire for eating dirt, possible suspects were hunger pangs and nutrient cravings. The hunger pangs hypothesis was later rejected because geophagy cases were reported even when food was plentiful.
Researchers worked on more than 480 cases of geophagy to gather data and to reach inferences. Studies show that geophagy mostly occurs in women during early pregnancy stages, and preadolescent kids. Also, it is more commonly found in tropical climates, and at times when there is “gastrointestinal distress”.
Could eating dirt be as nutritious as your average happy meal? Perhaps not, but apparently it does contain zinc, iron, and calcium. Some nutritionists point out there may be some health benefits, but medical professsionals are not recommending eating dirt.
It is said that the first recorded incident of human geophagy came from Hippocrates thousands of years ago. Judging by the research, some of us still seem to like that same basic recipe: mud.
The researchers suggests that people should not regard geophagy as a non-adaptive and bizarre gustatory mistake.
Well hey, I’m planning to meet my friends for a dirt dinner tonight. What are your plans? Still sticking to the plain regular diet or planning to get dirty?