Eating dirt. It’s genetic.

Well, I’m not actually sure if it’s genetic, but it sounds like a good excuse, right?

You know how all families have, “Remember when?” stories that everyone recalls with giggles?  Well, among my family’s are stories of me eating dirt in my toddlerhood and into my 4th & 5th years.  Everyone seems to think it’s funny that I ate dirt.

I still love the smell of dirt, especially as it’s being hit by the rain, turning the dust into mud.

Anyways.  Some time ago, I discovered the term “pica,” which refers to the eating of non-food items, including dirt, and that it’s often indicative of some pretty serious mental and/or physical problems.  Not so funny.  Then, when I discovered about celiac disease, a lifelong digestive disorder that I was diagnosed only 4.5 years ago, I found myself wondering if my body knew I was short on some kind of mineral that could be found in dirt, leading me to the compulsion to consume it — rather like a pregnant woman with odd cravings.

But… maybe it’s just genetic.  I know I keep posting picures of my baby… but, look at the absolute delight on her face as she explores an empty planter on my Grandma’s farm in Illinois last week.  Look at the ring of dirt around her mouth… on her hands… all over her now-permanently-ruined sweater…  A couple of people have seen this pic, and have expressed surprised concern that I didn’t stop her from her full-contact gardening efforts, but I had mercy on her compulsion to BE the dirt.  I’ve been there, sweetie.  I’m sorry (sort of) that I seem to have passed on the gene.



About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on April 8, 2007, in Celiac Disease, Loving Nature!, Medical Stuff, The Kids, Travelling. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. She looks happier about dirt than she does about birthday cake. Cute.

  2. That’s funny. I, too, an undiagnosed celiac, loved dirt. Good, black, dirt with what I called “Folger’s crystals” in it. I have memories of being at my grandmother’s house, eating dirt by the spoonful in her garden. I couldn’t understand why she yelled and shoved a garden hose in my mouth. Now, knowing how many cats were around, no doubt using the garden as their kitty box, I understand. But, boy was it delicious!!

    I still love the smell of black earth.

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