geophagy

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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 ?
In fact, with the exception of one article documenting clay-eating among both whites and blacks in North Carolina in 1808, I have round not a single piece of writing making any links between cachexia Africana and the journalistic accounts of the poor whites, despite the obvious overlap in the symptoms described.
As clay-eating became the subject of more scientific attention in the twentieth century, a shift did occur, notably, from the local-color model of the clay-eater, whereby his appetites fit into a holistic cultural portrayal said to be marked by similar atavisms--superstition, lack of ambition, and so forth--to a more medicalized form of explanation, which ascribed all of these habits to a physiological, treatable pathology.
This suggests that Ben suffers not from clay-eating as such, but from an extreme, obsessive consumption.