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Craving Earth: Understanding Pica--The Urge to Eat Clay, Starch, Ice, and Chalk

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Humans have eaten earth, on purpose, for more than 2,300 years. They also crave starch, ice, chalk, and other unorthodox items of food. Some even claim they are addicted and "go crazy" without these items, but why?

Sifting through extensive historical, ethnographic, and biomedical findings, Sera L. Young creates a portrait of pica, or nonfood cravings, from humans' earliest
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 21st 2011 by Columbia University Press (first published December 31st 2010)
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Laura González
May 28, 2014 Laura González rated it it was amazing
An excellent examination of the universal human phenomenon of pica: eating non-food items, such as earth, chalk, starch, or clay. Dispels myths about why people practice pica. She concludes that people (especially pregnant women and small children) ingest specific non-food substances to protect against bacteria and other toxins while their immune systems are most vulnerable. The pica substances adhere to the intestinal wall, bind to toxins, and flush them out as solid waste. Brilliant!
Karen
May 09, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it
Very accessible book (not too sciencey for a non-scientist like me) about a topic I knew very little about. I would definitely read more about this topic or more books by this author.

Incidentally, a great book to carry around if you want to get strange looks and have weird conversations with people. Apparently you can't just want to read a book about pica, you have to be a pica enthusiast to want to read this. Or so says everyone I work with, I guess.

There's nothing wrong with pica.
Embola Joan
Jan 16, 2013 Embola Joan rated it it was amazing
This book was a great help to me for my extended project about the pica disorder. Pica is a very common disorder but many people are ignorant of it. This book gives you a wider view of this disorder and will help answer so many questions. I would greatly recommend it to anyone who is interested in Pica.
Jenny
Sep 06, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it
I read this for a seminar class this semester and loved it, but bear in mind expectations. I was expecting a boring textbook and this definitely wasn't it with its excellent examples, easy to follow chapters, and interesting content.
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