The Latest on Dirt


SoilFlickrNetEfekt First, Treehugger tells us that "the latest culinary trend" is eating dirt.  Right.  Somebody, please save us from trend-spotters once and for all.

Next, Science Daily reports that playing in the dirt makes us smarter.  Okay, that story I actually want to believe and if it's on Science Daily there's a good chance the research is reputable.

Photo by Net Efekt.


  1. Ok, yuck! I’m sure I accidentally eat more than my share in the garden, but on purpose?

    Also, re: that comment about scrubbing carrots rather than peel them. I do that so I get the vitamins from the peel, not so I can eat the dirt from my garden.

    What is wrong with people? Lord, where would I even begin?…

  2. I think there’s a huge difference between being exposed to dirt (which, let’s face it, most people aren’t anymore) and actually eating it on purpose. Blech!

  3. Haha! Gives new meaning to the phrase “He bit the dust”! And it’ll give the food safety folks a new challenge.

  4. If you read the story, the folks aren’t actually eating a pile of dirt – it’s food made to look like dirt, or just a dirt “essence” foam. Sounds like a (bogus) case of one-upmanship to me – you eat organic, I eat organic and local; you eat what’s grown in your own soil; heck, I eat the soil itself !

    As far as playing in the dirt making you smarter goes, well, I thought it was the increased oxygen to the old gray matter or the routine of good hard work that made it easier to think more clearly. Guess I can give at least partial credit to our little bacterial friends. Maybe I can convince the boss to put in a garden out on the patio so we can all get a whiff of M. vaccae when we need inspiration !

  5. Well, I guess I should rejoice, rather than grimace, each time I chomp into some spinach or lettuce that managed to retain some garden grit despite a good soaking, washing and spinning.

  6. I remember seeing dirt for sale at the Municipal Market in downtown Atlanta – little bags filled with grayish white clay – which people bought to supplement their diet. I knew people who ate it, though I was there to buy pig brains for my grandfather.

  7. @naomi – that clay ( kaolin, a chalky clay) is eaten by folks with geophagia, a compulsion to eat earth. For some reason, it’s more prevalent in certain areas ( the American South, for one) and among certain groups ( pregnant women, African Americans). I’m not saying all people in these groups do this, just that folks who take part in this form of pica are more likely to fall into these groups. It’s not healthy, of course, can cause all sorts of discomfort and problems.

  8. I heard that playing, or gardening, in dirt makes us healthier because of all the healthy bacteria in micro-organisms is soil. I only eat ‘dirt’when my hot dog or whatever falls into the barbecue fire. The Girl Scout camp motto was ‘you’ll eat over a peck of dirt before you die.’ I probably have already.

  9. My husband’s grandfather use to take capsules containing mud from the Winnemucca, Nevada area, which reportedly contained many minerals etc. that he believed contributed to his health. Then again, he also ate a stick of butter in his senility.

  10. Everybody eats a pound of dirt in their life. I guess some people think a pound isn’t enough.

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