This is a practice that may seem very strange and yet it exists in some African or South American cultures: eating earth. Our columnist Fanny Agostini explains the origin and virtues of what is called "geophagy".


Friday, Fanny Agostini tells us about a practice that can put off, and yet that does exist: eating earth, what is called "geophagy". Our columnist explains her origins and her virtues.

"I'm going to have to be very open-minded about this column Thursday, in the middle of my garden, I almost found the earth appetizing I did some research on the internet on this strange impulse, it really exists and it's 'calls geophagy.'

It exists, but it is not common. Do animals spontaneously practice geophagy?

"Yes, horses, cows and many other animals, but it is also the case of people who still have a strong relationship with nature, like in Brazil or Kenya, where we eat earth for to make up for certain mineral deficiencies, the soil of which is very rich, pregnant women sometimes feel this need to avoid anemia. "

This practice is old enough, right?

"Yes, in Greek antiquity it was even strongly recommended to take it as a food supplement.The island of Lemnos, in the Cyclades, was famous throughout the Mediterranean basin for the properties of its clay soil. destined for human consumption and was exported everywhere.It was carefully transported in amphorae, sealed with a seal to guarantee its origin and its authenticity.

Today we still consume land in case of stomachaches, in the form of Smecta. Because the Smecta is nothing more than clay. "

So you have to eat earth to be healthy?

"I'm not saying that we have to eat a ration every day, but to reconsider it.We need the land in many ways, it's not just a substrate on which we grow or grow our But social norms and our disconnect from nature sometimes divert us from our instinct to touch, smell, and sometimes taste it. "