geophagy

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Related to Clay eating: white clay

geophagia

 [je″o-fa´jah]
the habit of eating clay or earth, a form of pica.

geophagy

(jē-ŏf′ə-jē)
n.
The eating of earthy substances, such as clay or chalk, practiced among various peoples as a custom or for dietary or subsistence reasons.

ge·oph′a·gism n.
ge·oph′a·gist n.
The consumption of dirt—e.g., mud or clay—a former practice in many cultures, regionally extant in the southern US

geophagy

Clay-eating The consumption of dirt–eg, mud or clay, a former practice in many cultures, regionally extant in the southern US

ge·o·pha·gi·a

, geophagism , geophagy (jē'ŏ-fā'jē-ă, jē-of'ă-jizm, -of'ă-jē)
The practice of eating dirt or clay.
Synonym(s): dirt-eating.
[geo- + G. phagō, to eat]

ge·o·pha·gi·a

, geophagism , geophagy (jē'ŏ-fā'jē-ă, jē-of'ă-jizm, -of'ă-jē)
Eating dirt or clay.
[geo- + G. phagō, to eat]
References in periodicals archive ?
Some of these are discussed below, prior to developing a case that clay eating may have been one of the earliest and most basic techniques used.
It could be argued that, with knowledge of clay eating and the addition of other simple detoxification techniques, the earliest arrivals could have exploited the toxic plants of these rainforests, thus adding further support to Cosgrove's hypothesis.
The practice of clay eating could easily have been learnt by observing the geophagous behaviour of a whole range of other animals, or may have been a pre-human condition.
Accepting that a knowledge of clay eating for the purposes of adsorbing toxins is universal has considerable antiquity, and may have been simply learnt from animals or was a pre-human behaviour, it follows that the practice could have arrived on Australia's shores with the initial arrivals.