Geophagy is the intentional ingestion of earth, soil or clay and is a form of pica. This practice is not uncommon in the southern regions of the United States or provinces of Africa. It may be seen in pregnant or iron-deficient patients 3. Although geophagia may be seen in the context of a variety of different cultural or religious practices, it is also encountered in patients with behavioral disturbances or psychiatric disease 4.
- 1. Miao D, Young SL, Golden CD. A meta-analysis of pica and micronutrient status. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 2014; . doi:10.1002/ajhb.22598 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Ward P1, Kutner NG, Reported pica behavior in a sample of incident dialysis patients.J Ren Nutr. 1999 Jan;9(1):14-20.
- 3. Woywodt A, Kiss A. Geophagia: the history of earth-eating. J R Soc Med. 2002;95 (3): 143-6. Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 4. Consuming the Inedible: Neglected Dimensions of Food Choice. Berghahn Books. ISBN:184545684X. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon