New study conducted in Madagascar where geophagy – a widespread phenomenon, for the first time showed that this practice is widely common among men. At least they ate what, in our opinion, not suitable for food, with no less zeal than pregnant women and teens. Flatbread from earth, salt and vegetable fat. Not Madagascar, but Haiti, Port-au-Prince.
A photo from open sources “I believe (I can’t prove) that previous studies simply ignored men, “says lead author Christopher Golden of National Geographic US society. Its co-author Laura Beatrice Lopez from the University Buenos Aires (Argentina) is of the same opinion. Researchers on the advice of Sera Young of Cornell University (USA) 760 people were interviewed from 16 villages of the Makira Madagascar Reserve. Both men and women admitted to using thirteen non-food substances, including sand, soil, chicken droppings, uncooked rice, uncooked cassava root, coal, salt and ash. Generally geophagy was not alien to 53% of respondents. Among men the rate was 63%. Exceptionally during pregnancy, all sorts of oddities ate less than 1% of women. Many said they do it. for medical purposes: it seems to help with indigestion. And in general there is a belief that geophagy improves health. Scientists with more or less agree with this: indeed, this way fill the deficiency of trace elements in the diet and cleanse gastrointestinal tract from parasites. From this point of view, this nutrition is really more suitable for pregnant women and children, diet whose needs are not the same as everyone else. However mr Golden emphasizes that there is no evidence of ability the human body absorb trace elements from the soil. Him there was a feeling that geophagy can hardly be useful for health. Perhaps this is simply the result of spontaneous food culture: for example, many Malagasy do not consider raw starch (raw rice, etc.) is inedible. Interestingly, geophagy is not unique to the rural populations of developing countries. For example, people eat chalk everywhere. The authors do not yet know how classify geophagy. An eating disorder like it would not seem, and the harmfulness of this practice has yet to be to prove.