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Soil consumption (geophagia) is the deliberate consumption of earth in the form of soil and clay.
In West Africa, particularly Ghana and Togo, geophagia involves ingestion of a creamy-white loamy clay soil locally known as ayelo in Accra, Ghana.
(55.) Some researchers make the distinction in these terms between geophagia and geomania, defined as "an uncontrollable urge to eat large quantities of earth even to the point of death" (Halsted, "Geophagy in Man" 1384).
There are two factors that put people at risk for infection: 1) contact with raccoons, their feces, or the contaminated environment and 2) geophagia of pica.
Contributors survey the evidence to find who consumes the inedible, then focus on cultural perceptions of food and non-food, human identity in consumption, pica behavior, nutritive aspects of geophagia and its biological consequences, human zinc deficiency, lime as a nutritive element, non-human primate and human consumption of materials with low nutritional value, non-foods in famine, marginalized practices such as eating garbage, cannibalism as a myth and rarity, family influence and socialization, waste products used in alcoholic beverages, and the roles of cats, insects, and snot in cultured eating.
Patients with kidney disease practicing pica most commonly consume clay or dirt (geophagia), laundry starch (amylophagia), or ice (pagophagia), but the list of potential pica substances can be quite extensive.
Geophagia (clay ingestion) is the most common form of pica, occurring in tribe-oriented societies as well as in people living in the tropics.
Observations of herbivores consuming soil (i.e., geophagia) from natural mineral licks have been reported throughout North America (Knight and Mudge, 1967; Hebert and Cowan, 1971; Weeks and Kirkpatrick, 1976; Weeks, 1978; Fraser et al., 1980; Fraser and Hristienko, 1981; Tankersley and Gasaway, 1983; Kreulen, 1985; Risenhoover and Peterson, 1986).
Geophagia is prevalent in this age group (Stagno et al., 1980).
Our psychologist told us he had seen many cases of stress-induced geophagia. The woman knew it was abnormal but couldn't stop.
In addition, direct consumption of the contaminated soil and tailings material (geophagia) is a suspected pathway.