Eating Dirt

It's the weirdest sign that you may be expecting:

In fact, says author Sera Young, in some cultures eating dirt is the go-to pregnancy "gotcha" symptomthe same way that every American knows to suspect a woman who pukes in the morning, or wants pickles with her ice cream.

That's really where a lot of the fascination comes from for me. Why is this tendency so specific to pregnant women? And why does the frequency of pica vary depending on location? Even though people do this all over the world, studies have shown some big differences between populations. For instance, Young writes, .01% of pregnant Danish women eat dirt, but 56% of pregnant Kenyan women do.

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

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

Just In