Re: Soil eating tribes? ((
13 Nov 1995 22:35:48 GMT

In article <umwinkl0.815985985@mira>, (Kevyn Loren
Winkless) writes:

>In <47tep1$> (John Shimeld) writes:
>>Does anyone have information on cultures or tribes
>>that eat soil as part of their diet?
>>This question was asked of us by an elementary school
>>student and left us speechless. Is there a gap in our
>>knowledge? :-)
>There are a number of african groups who actually _mine_ specific clay
>deposits in order to use this clay as food. I don't believe its used as
>a staple in the diet, but rather as a delicacy - a sort of "sweet" - and
>people have preferences just as one might have a preferred coffee blend.
I have read/ heard about South American groups in the Amazon eating red clay
periodically. The idea is that iron (as well as other minerals) is gained and
may help to prevent anemia during pregnancy. There may also be microbes that
can aid in digestion. Sorry, don't have any refs.

Tony Waldron
Univ. of New Mexico