The desire to eat dirt during your pregnancy is by no means strange, even if it makes you feel like you’ve finally hit maximum pregnancy brain. In fact, the craving to eat dirt (this craving is commonly referred to as pica), specifically geophagy (literally “earth eating” in Latin), is seen all over the world, in every community you can think of, according to Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutricion. From women living and working in the African plains to a soccer mom in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, craving dirt during pregnancy isn’t new.
It’s so common in some parts of the world, that there are areas that sell clay-rich dirt at health foods and exotic goods stores, according to Science Daily, even if the current recommendation is to definitely not eat the clay. However, the recommendation by the researchers noted in the Science Daily article made this decree for a reason that might surprise you. You may be thinking “because it’s dirt, and you shouldn’t eat dirt,” but that’s not all of it.