geophagy

Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • noun The act or practice of eating earth, as dirt, clay, chalk, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • noun The practice of eating earthy substances such as clay and chalk, often thought to augment a mineral-deficient diet.

Examples

  • Well, you might be surprised that many cultures, from the ancient Greeks to modern-day Saharan tribes participate in geophagy – or eating dirt.

    Feeling Hungry? Eat Some Dirt | myFiveBest

  • In fact, dirt eating, known as geophagy, is so prevalent in some parts of the world that scientists and anthropologists think that nutritional deficits may bring on the craving.

    mental_floss Blog

  • Far from being a dysfunctional behavior, geophagy has evolved as a practice for maintaining health amongst chimpanzees.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • Known as geophagy or "earth eating" macaws feed on clays to counteract poisons from the seeds in fruit they eat.

    the adventures of Muffy and Hellion

  • Apparently geophagy, as the deliberate behvaior is known, increases the potency of ingested plants with anti-malarial properties.

    Mongabay.com News

  • Apparently geophagy, as the deliberate behvaior is known, increases the potency of ingested plants with anti-malarial properties.

    Mongabay.com News

Note

The word 'geophagy' comes from Greek roots meaning 'earth' and 'eat'.