Craving Earth: Understanding Pica : the Urge to Eat Clay, Starch, Ice, and Chalk
Humans have eaten earth, on purpose, for more than 2,300 years. They also crave starch, ice, chalk, and other unorthodox items of food. Some even claim they are addicted and "go crazy" without these items, but why?
Sifting through extensive historical, ethnographic, and biomedical findings, Sera L. Young creates a portrait of pica, or nonfood cravings, from humans' earliest ingestions to current trends and practices. In engaging detail, she describes the substances most frequently consumed and the many methods (including the Internet) used to obtain them. She reveals how pica is remarkably prevalent (it occurs in nearly every human culture and throughout the animal kingdom), identifies its most avid partakers (pregnant women and young children), and describes the potentially healthful and harmful effects. She evaluates the many hypotheses about the causes of pica, from the fantastical to the scientific, including hunger, nutritional deficiencies, and protective capacities. Never has a book examined pica so thoroughly or accessibly, merging absorbing history with intimate case studies to illuminate an enigmatic behavior deeply entwined with human biology and culture.
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What on Earth?
A Holistic Way to Study Pica
Medicine You Can Walk On
Sacredness You Can Swallow
Poisons and Pathogens
Pica in Response to Food Shortage
Pica as a Micronutrient Supplement
Pica to Protect and Detoxify
Putting the Pica Pieces Together
Pica in Literature
Association Between Pica and Iron Deficiency
Association Between Pica with Zinc Deficiency
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amylophagy anemia anemic association between pica attending antenatal clinics baby bind bioavailability biocultural blood cachexia calcium cation exchange capacity cations cause pica century chalk chapter charcoal Chimayo consumed consumption cornstarch cultural described detoxifying dey’m diarrhea dreams die hard eat clay eat dirt eat earth eaten engage in pica Esquipulas example Figure frequently g/dL geophagic clay geophagic earth geophagic soils geophagists geophagy geophagy score graveyard dirt harmful hemoglobin hoodoo hunger hyperkalemia hypothesis ingestion intestinal iron absorption iron deficiency kaolin Kaopectate Kenya lead poisoning Lemnos Mahaney Medicine micronutrient micronutrient deficiencies micronutrient requirements non-food items non-food substances nutrients Nutrition ofthe pagophagy palygorskite Pemba physician pica behavior Pica Literature Database pica substances poisoning population Prediction pregnant women protection religious geophagy roundworms sample slaves smectite starch terra sigillata tion toxic toxins and pathogens woman Women attending antenatal Young zinc deficiency