Eating Dirt, Ctd

A reader writes:

Craving dirt or rocks (or sometimes chewing on ice) is a sign of iron deficiency.  The reason it's a sign of pregnancy in Kenya but not in Northern Europe is that Kenyan women are much more likely to be anemic due to malaria, hookworm and less meat in their diet.  During pregnancy the body's demand for iron increases, thus pica (this type of craving) increases if a woman is already iron deficient.

Another writes:

Yes, I am Kenyan. Yes, I have eaten soil (I have never liked the word dirt). No, I have never been pregnant and no, it wasn't because I was hungry! (You westerners ... we are not all starving!) It is because I am very anemic. The very red rich volcanic soil will do that to you. Especially after the rains. It smells divine.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

Just In