Download Craving Earth: Understanding Pica, the Urge to Eat Clay, by Sera Young PDF

By Sera Young

ISBN-10: 0231146086

ISBN-13: 9780231146081

Humans have eaten earth, on objective, for greater than 2,300 years. additionally they crave starch, ice, chalk, and different unorthodox goods of meals. a few even declare they're addicted and "go loopy" with out this stuff, yet why?

Sifting via huge ancient, ethnographic, and biomedical findings, Sera L. younger creates a portrait of pica, or nonfood cravings, from people' earliest ingestions to present developments and practices. In enticing aspect, she describes the components most often ate up and the various equipment (including the net) used to acquire them. She finds how pica is remarkably customary (it happens in approximately each human tradition and during the animal kingdom), identifies its such a lot avid partakers (pregnant ladies and younger children), and describes the doubtless healthy and destructive results. She evaluates the various hypotheses in regards to the motives of pica, from the fantastical to the medical, together with starvation, dietary deficiencies, and protecting capacities. by no means has a e-book tested pica so completely or accessibly, merging soaking up background with intimate case reports to light up an enigmatic habit deeply entwined with human biology and culture.

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Extra resources for Craving Earth: Understanding Pica, the Urge to Eat Clay, Starch, Ice, and Chalk

Example text

Indb 15 12/22/10 12:24 PM W H AT O N E A R T H ? point that women note axiomatically that if a woman is observed to eat clay, she must be pregnant” (Vermeer 1966:200). This association with pregnancy is both ubiquitous and very old. ) is responsible for the first written record of geophagy, and in it he specifically identifies pregnant women. “If a pregnant woman would like to eat earth or charcoal, and then eats it, the child that enters this world will be marked on its head from these substances” (Hippocrates 1853:487).

Decreased basal metabolic rate during periods of starvation and expanded lung capacity when living at high altitudes 3. , the soaking of corn in an alkaline solution prior to cooking it, which frees up otherwise unavailable niacin (Katz et al. 1975) Biocultural research tends to focus on the latter two types. 1 is not unidirectional; the human is acted upon, but is also an actor. There is room for individual choice, and thus the bidirectional arrows between each of these realms. Much biocultural research attempts to measure if practices are beneficial to health and well-being, or not.

If the cation exchange capacity is high, cations are likely to become bound tightly to the substance and thus be unavailable to be metabolized. Cation exchange capacity varies enormously, from about 2mEq/100g in kaolinite to approximately 150mEq/100g in some smectites. The likelihood of cation exchange also depends on the strength of charge of the cations in solution. The stronger the charge of the cation already bound to the “bread,” the less likely it will be replaced by another cation. For example, Fe3+ cannot ordinarily be replaced by Fe2+.

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Craving Earth: Understanding Pica, the Urge to Eat Clay, Starch, Ice, and Chalk by Sera Young


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