Question: what is it?


Вопрос: что это?

Вопрос: что это?

Hint: for sale in many markets in African countries

Do not be surprised: the pica (eating dirt) — a fairly common phenomenon in Africa. Earth or clay for food (e.g., kaolin) are a typical food product, which can be expensive to buy in any market. For many, this is part of the daily diet, or even a kind of dependency.

And in Kenya, for example, not just sell the land, and add to it various spices: allspice cardamom or spicy black pepper. Even in the US, where in Georgia to produce high-quality white clay, you can buy it on the Internet. Although the box says that clay is not intended for human consumption, it is largely just for that. The facts of eating earth in an African Cameroon are described in the documents of the colonization of the continent, also such cases have been repeatedly documented in Argentina, Iran, and Namibia, however, according to scientists, the earth most often eaten in the tropics.

Eaters of the clay claim that it helps to get rid of nausea and stomach pain. And there is a perception that it generally helps to improve digestion. Surprisingly, the American scientists who conducted research on pica, nor deny this information: clay has binding and analgesic properties. For scientists it is not a secret that in case of poisoning animals may eat the earth. Often the desire to eat a piece of clay occurs in young children, which, in principle, of course, and in pregnant women.

Clay or earth may even become a part of the prescription and be combined with other products. For example, when in California or Sardinia bake acorn bread, acorn add clay to neutralize tannin, which makes the acorns taste bad.

In General, however, any special benefits eating clay is not responsible. In poor countries it can have to numb the feeling of hunger or instinctively wanting to refill missing minerals. Sometimes the pica is associated with mental disorders. However, Professor of family medicine and practicing physician of the medical center Georgetown University from America Hurts Mishori sure that eating earth or clay is not a pathology, but rather a cultural phenomenon.

The correct answer is: clay designed for food.


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