Eat Dirt

Dirt is what we are made of. It is the minerals that our bodies cannot make for themselves and without which our body would not be able to make all the other substances it needs to survive.

Literary references:
"And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7

From "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck:
p. 83
"The extreme gnawing in his stomach which he had had at first was now past and he could stir up a little of the earth from a certain spot in one of his fields and give it to the children without desiring any of it for himself. This earth they had been eating in water for some days -- goddess of mercy earth, it was called, because it had some slight nutritious quality in it, although in the end it coud not sustain life. But made into a gruel it allayed the chldren's craving for a time and put something into their distended, empty bellies."

"The Good Earth" was written by Pearl S. Buck. She based her work of fiction around the stories and lives of the people she lived with in China at the time. It probably is influenced by her Western aversion to the idea that dirt is edible, but she could not help but faithfully record the history: that eating dirt is how you get through a famine, and that dirt is filling and nutritious, Eating dirt will appease an appetite for awhile. I can also personally vouch for this. After I began  including dirt in my diet, I had to decrease the amount of food I eat. Minerals in any form are very filling. Dirt also contains the minerals that are depleted from our soil and water and deficient in our diet.

Dirt can make you happier, possibly smarter -- (which is nice to know but, unfortunately, was discovered by animal testing)

"YH-VH formed man from the dust of the earth" -- Bible, Genesis 2:7

Besides its mineral content, raw dirt straight from the ground will also contain fulvic and humic acid, and soil microbes. Fulvic and humic acids are highly efficient acids that will help the body remove toxins and absorb and use other nutrients. Soil microbes are the gut flora that line our digestive system and help us digest our food, and without which we could not survive.

To eliminate the soil invertebrates, I let the dirt dry outside in the hopes that anything alive in it will leave, and then bring it inside and sift it, first in a large spaghetti colander to eliminate rocks and pebbles, and then through a fine sieve to further eliminate any small organism in the soil. If you have a grinder, you can run it through the grinder to make the particles smaller and more palatable.

Dirt should have a pleasant, barely sweet taste. That is probably why the fictional Wang Lung chose a particular part of his land to harvest edible earth, because of its taste and possibly texture.  I believe that in primitive or traditional cultures, dirt would have been eaten just as it was dug up from the ground without going through all the trouble of drying and sifting it as I do, but I am still a product of my culture and putting fresh dirt in my morning coffee is just too far a reach for me. Maybe someday.

Dirt that is sour is over-acidic. This would be more likely to contain pathogens or soil invertebrates. A healthy body would probably still be able to digest them as food, but avoid eating sour dirt anyway.

Store-bought edible clay is probably the least objectionable form of dirt to eat, and it is often used as medicine. It will not have the acids and pro-biotics that dirt has, but it has all the alkalizing minerals. Eat a naturally cultured food with it to supply the probiotics. You can buy various types of clay in stores and online. NASA fed red desert clay to the American astronauts. Clay is defined as a particular size of dirt particle, and most garden variety dirt will contain some amount of clay particles in it. Clay is part of many alternative health protocols for cancer and other degenerative diseases, and you could substitute dirt for clay in these protocols, although you would have to use your own initiative and biofeedback to determine the ratio for substitution.

If a survival situation or other disaster ever effects you, eating dirt can be a bulwark to fall back on until better times return.  Although it may be true that dirt cannot sustain life indefinitely, as Ms. Buck says, I suspect that eating fresh clods of earth, not drying it as I do, and riverbank clay, which has other nutrients embedded in it, and adding grass, leaves and inner tree bark to the dirt may, while not being the most appetizing thing on the menu, provide the nutrients needed to keep life going for as long as necessary until real food can be found.

Rescued baby kangaroos need to be fed dirt to be able to digest their other food

Transcribed from an interview with an Australian licensed kangaroo re-habilitator. Audio and full article here.

Interviewer: What do you feed them? Do you feed the kangaroos the same food as the wallabies? [Do] you have to go out and collect it from your land?

Cecilia: They are on a very special formula. It's called Wombaroo. Because all the macropods are lactose-intolerant. You can't just feed them baby milk, baby formula, or cow's milk, it's ... they would die on that. At the moment, they're all on four bottles a day, but they start eating solids so I give them kangaroo pellets and a little bit [of] rolled oats and they also eat dirt. They need that for their gut flora and for the digestion and they start eating grass and they get also water. [They] need water.
Interviewer: I'm interested in the fact that you feed them dirt, because I can see the water, the oats, the grass and the bowl of dirt. Any kind of dirt? Do you just pick it up anywhere or is it specific dirt?

Cecilia: I'll try to get clean dirt like from here, from the gully, where there is no cow poo in, no chook poo, no other kangaroos poo'ed in, so I try to and then occasionally I wet it a little bit to make it a little bit moist so they can eat it better.

Interviewer: And do they like to eat it?

Cecilia:This one, she likes very much to eat it. This one, she likes it, too, but not so much. {laughing}.

4:13 - 2:52 (it goes backward, measuring by how much time is left on the recording)

I recommend learning to eat dirt. I suggest starting with a teaspoon of dried clay in a glass or water or cup of coffee, and move on to harvesting  your own wild dirt when you are comfortable with it.

Science beginning to notice that eating dirt is good for you.
There is a movement, or at least a barely discernible twitch, among some more environmentally-friendly scientists to acknowledge that eating dirt can be good for us. I agree with this wholeheartedly and then some, of course. So, it is with some discomfort that I am forced to disagree with their theory on the reason why eating dirt is good for us. But I like to think they are taking a baby step in the right direction and it is too early to ask them to give up the entire germs-are-bad paradigm at the first second they notice that people who eat dirt are healthier than people who do not.

So, I am glad to make references or links to scientific opinion that eating dirt is good for us. It validates my assertion just that they have noticed the positive correlation between eating dirt and good health. In fact, if you prefer believing that the reason dirt is good for you is because there are "bad" germs in it that stimulate the immune system, then go with that. It is far more in keeping with mainstream views on health than my somewhat more extreme views are. You will have far fewer arguments with your children's grandparents if you give them that easily-understood and science-endorsed explanation.

Why Eating Dirt Is Good For You
It has pro-biotics in it, the soil-based organisms that line our digestive tract and digest our food for us. If you are a young child just starting out in the world, that is where you will get the microbes you need to be able to digest your food.
These microbes enhance the immune system not by stimulating it as an enemy, but by being part of it.
Dirt has lots of minerals in it, including trace minerals that may not be available from any other source. Most disease is caused by or worsened by a lack of minerals.
Dirt contains humic and fulvic acids in it, major health-food substances.

There is no such thing as good or bad germs
There is only the environment in which they live being healthy or unhealthy. Germs help create either health or disease in our bodies depending on how healthy or diseased are bodies are. And the #1 thing you can do to make your body healthier is to take or eat a lot of minerals, either in the form of dirt, clay, powdered gravel dust, dolomite, vegetable ashes or various forms of mineral salts dug from the ground.

Eating dirt, rapamycin and Alzheimer's

Dirt, ashes, charcoal, clay and sand. These are all things that are good for you to eat. There are more people in the world who consume dirt, ashes, charcoal, clay or sand than those who don't. It is only because these things are freely available and we live in a society controlled by money that we are taught that these things are dirty, diseased or inedible. NASA fed clay to the astronauts because it needed them to stay healthy.

On Easter Island Rapa Nui, dirt was found that contained an enzyme that reduced symptoms of age-related mental deterioration in rats, or Alzheimer's as it is called in humans. The substance was named rapamycin after Rapa Nui island. It is an antibiotic, made by soil-based bacteria. As we speak, science is trying to extract, duplicate and synthesize rapamycin so it can be patented and sold for profit. This is the way of allopathic science. They take something from nature that is free and good for you, such as dirt, and try to find ways to make it into something that will generate a profit. But the lesson we take from this is this: Dirt contains soil-based bacteria that make natural antibiotics that help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer's.

What are the risks and how can they be minimized?
.There could be chemical toxins in the soil such as anti-freeze, pesticides and herbicides.
Always use soil whose background you know or are sure you have walked far enough into the wilderness that humans haven't contaminated the soil.
.There are germs from feces in the soil
The concept that there are good and bad germs, or that excrement is a source of disease or "evil" is one of many lies told to us by allopathic/Darwinian-based science. There are people all over the world that consume excrement as food or medicine, and, even in the West, it is not so long ago (1800's) that such things as "sheep dung tea" were used as medicine and seagull guano was used to preserve sausages.
.There are parasitic non-vertebrates in the soil
This is true. Chances are they would be digested if you ate them, but,  just in case, dry out the dirt first, go through it by hand to remove all foreign substances and then filter it through a fine sieve (nylon undergarments will produce a very fine powder) so that you are certain nothing is living in it before consuming it.

On the other hand, Aajonous Vonderplanitz, raw food advocate and author of Primal Diet, says that he "looks at any parasite or other natural biological organisms as optimal to integrate into your system. "

The following text is extracted from "Craving Earth" by Sera Young

It's from the free sample amazon offers on ebooks because I don't think it would be fair to her to give away the words that she wants to sell. Ms. Young works for the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. As such, she has to present geophagy as a disorder ("pica") rather than advocating eating dirt as I do. (I'm not sure if she doesn't realize what she is saying or is "laying it between the lines" in order to get published and still keep her job), but, removing any text about opinions about eating dirt and just including the data about it, here is what she has to say:


"Humans have been consuming earth for a very long time. There is good evidence to suggest that we were even eating it two million years ago, when we Homo sapiens were still Homo habilis (Clark 2001:659-62) [see also Appendix A. ... Earth is consumed in many forms and comes from many sources including mud from a riverbed, broken bits of pottery, earth clods found among dry pinto beans. The amount consumed daily varies, but quantities of 20-40 g are typically reported (Geissler et al 1997; Luoba et al 2005; Saathoff et al. 2002; Young et al. 2010b). Most of the earth consumed is rich in clay (Young 2010); although clays may seem unremarkable, they have amazing properties....

"But not just any earth will do. People go to extreme lengths to obtain the earth of their heart's desire. They may be secretive about the whereabouts of their clay pit. (Silverman and Perkens 1966), walk many miles to the site with "good dirt" (Dickens and Ford 1942), tussle with the cattle who are also eating "their" clay (Hunter 1993), and implore relatives to mail boxes of clay when they move to a place with unappetizing soil (1967; Dickens and Ford 1942; Frate 1984). The smoothest soils, (i.e., those high in clay content) are the most sought after, from the Arctic (Richardson 1851:191) to the Amazon (von Humboldt et al. 1821, pt. 2, pp. 639-64), and everywhere in between. Sandy soils and soils high in dark organic material, called humus, are typically avoided.

"The smell of earth is an important criterion for soil selection the world over (e.g., Forsyth and Benoit 1989; Hooper and Mann 1906; McIntyre 2000). The earth's scent after rain, called petrichor (Bear and Thomas 1964), is a particularly important indicator of its suitability....

"Another criterion for geophagists is that their dirt be "clean". Most earth for consumption is collected from places where animals do not tred (and therefore cannot defecate), such as from areas high up on a wall or the interior of a well; others insure the hygiene of their earth by drying and/or heating it, either in the sun or over open flame (Young et al. 2007)

"Commoditization is a great indicator of demand and yes, geophagic earth is now for sale. In fact, there is enough demand across the United States that Sam's General Store, a shop in White Plains, Georgia, that sells geophagic earth, has established an online presence ( They sell earth in two-pound increments, marked as "a novelty item" (probably to avoid any lawsuits). And just in case you are worried about what the postman may think, their deliveries arrive discreetly in unmarked cardboard boxes.

"Sam's General Store sells kaolin, which many geophagists consider to be the most desirable type of clay. However, there are many types of earth eaten, and almost as many names for it. For example, on Pemba Island, where I first learned about geophagy, people eat four type of earth. The Swahili names are udongo, ufue, vitango pepeta (also known as vitango mlima) and mchanga. In other places, the variety of geophagic soils is even greater (e.g., Vermeer 1971)."


What do others say?
Eating ClayHaitian mud pies, Dogs have a natural instinct for what is good for them. Lithuanian woman eating sand.
Pages/Blog posts:
Let Them Eat Dirt
Eating Dirt and Finding a Church
WAPF: "People have been eating clay and dirt as a tradition for thousands of years"

French restaurant in Tokyo charges $112 for meal made of dirt:

Cure Tooth Decay  by Ramiel Nagel
Our Earth Our Cure: A Handbook of Natural Medicine for Today by Raymond Dextreit. 
Salt: Your Way To Health by Dr. David Brownstein. A good book for those who have been told by their doctor to cut down on salt because of high blood pressure, and why natural sea salt is good for you.
Your Body's Many Cries for Water  by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj. This is a fascinating book. The author is a doctor who spent time in prison in Iran during the Revolution. Having no medicine, he cured many of the illnesses of his fellow-inmates with just water.

My e-Books


Products Available For Sale Online
Terramin - Multimineral Supplement
Lugol's Iodine
Empty Gelatin Capsules
Epsom Salts

(Magnesium sulfate)
Azomite Powder
(Trace Minerals)

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