Monday, July 13, 2015

Geophagy- The Consumption of Soil and Clay (and Other Uses).

  With food prices rising, Haiti's poorest can't afford even a daily plate of rice, and and don't need to, because they take measures to fill their bellies using a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger- cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country's central plateau. The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. 
In my opinion, what better way to abundantly and responsibly sustain communities globally. Add a little bit of vegetable and fruit to the mix, and dig in! :) Native Americans made Pemmican to sustain themselves, which isn't much different.
  After viewing the folks in the video below, they seem pretty well nourished and full of energy to me. It's comical to listen to the reporter talk as if this is the most horrible idea in the world. They say you have to worry about rotting teeth and malnutrition, but don't many 1st world Americans you know have some pretty terrible dental problems? 
       ----Obesity???  Talk about nourishment issues good and proper----
      As for the water Mr. Reporter, you walked over it and are standing on the cloth they use to prepare their food. Have some respect and decency to stand on the concrete. But never mind that. They are just poor dirt eating nobodies after all.    
-Cuz the 'Muricans know best and all.

In Africa, kaolin, sometimes known as kalaba (in Gabon and Cameroon), calaba, and calabachop (in Equatorial Guinea), is eaten for pleasure or to suppress hunger. Consumption is greater among women, especially during pregnancy.
Bentonite clay is available worldwide as a digestive aid; kaolin is also widely used as a digestive aid and as the base for some medicines. Attapulgite, another type of clay, is an active ingredient in many anti-diarrheal medicines.
In the USA, cooked, baked, and processed dirt and clay are sold in health food stores and rural flea markets in the South. However, geophagia has become less prevalent as rural Americans assimilate into urban culture.

Geophagia is nearly universal around the world in tribal and traditional rural societies (although apparently it has not been documented in Japan and Korea). In the ancient world, several writers noted the use of geophagia. Pliny is said to have noted the use of soil on the Greek Island of Lemnos and the use of the soils from this island have been noted until the 14th century. The textbook of Hippocrates (460-377 BCE) mentions geophagia and the famous medical textbook called De Medicina edited by A Cornelius Celsus (14-37 CE) seems to link anaemia to geophagia.
White slavers (as punishment) forced their victims to wear
 these masks to stop them from consuming earth.
-A perfectly healthy and human practice
that deserves no barring. From then to now.
Early explorers in the Americas noted the use of geophagy amongst Native Americans including the Gabriel Soares de Sousa who reported in 1587 of a tribe in Brazil. 
In Africa, Livingston wrote about slaves eating soil in Zanzibar and it is also thought that large number of slaves brought with them soil eating practices when they were shipped as part of the transatlantic slave trade. Geophagia was common among slaves who were nicknamed "clay-eaters" because they had been known to consume clay, as well as spices, ash, chalk, grass, plaster, paint, and starch.  
In more recent times, according to Dixie's Forgotten People: the South's Poor Whites, geophagia was common among poor whites in the South-eastern United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and was often ridiculed in popular literature. The literature also states that "Many men believed that eating clay increased sexual prowess, and some females claimed that eating clay helped pregnant women to have an easy delivery." 

Three Tips I Can Establish For Earth Consumption

1. Don't eat earth near houses/construction/building sites. The dirt could have lead or other nasty things in it.

2. Don't eat surface layer dirt. Dig down a bit. The surface could have feces or parasites just waiting to infect ones bowels at any moments notice. Especially if consuming the soil/clay uncooked.

 3. Don't eat a lot of dirt by itself in one setting. Include plant matter (fruit & veggies) and include plenty of water in your diet, as one should always do anyways, to prevent any chance of temporary digestive blockage.

Some More Uses for Earth

1. Bricks
Mud bricks (or adobe in Spanish) were the construction material of choice of the ancient Pueblo peoples in the southwestern United States. Adobe is a mixture of clay, water, sand, silt, and various other organic materials, molded into brick shapes and sun-dried.  With today’s concern for green living and building, there is a renewed interest in fashioning homes out of mud brick, which has the eco-friendly advantages of being non-toxic, durable, mold-resistant, naturally insulating, waste-free, and (pardon the expression) dirt cheap. If you plan to build or remodel your house with adobe, make sure that your bricks conform to local building code

2. Facials
Mud facials are an invigorating and healing facial treatment that you can apply in the privacy of your own home. They tighten the pores, remove toxins and dead skin cells, and minimize blemishes and fine lines. Various types of clay may be blended with rosewater and other natural ingredients, such as essential oils, to create a paste which you dab on your face as a mask. Relax on the couch or a chaise outdoors under a tree for 10-15 minutes. Then gently remove the mask with warm water and an old washcloth. Afterwards your face will tend to be somewhat dry, so moisturize if you wish.
3. Dandruff Treatment
Your face is not the only part of the body that will benefit from a mud “bath.” If you suffer from dandruff, adult “cradle cap,” or itchy scalp, try mudding up with mineral-rich muck from the shores of the Dead Sea. You can choose between a 20 minute soak with a mud-enriched shampoo or the gooey goodness of the unadulterated real thing. Be warned that spreading pure mud on your scalp – and then rinsing it out! – is a messy business, but the results are worth it.

4. Fine Art
Yusuke Asai is a young Japanese who has become internationally sought after for his elaborately detailed, phantasmagoric murals. His paintings, which often cover entire walls, floors, and ceilings, are celebrated both for their intricate imagery of the natural world and for their earthy hues. The latter is not surprising, as Asai has been using mud as his medium since 2008. This eco-conscious artist states that the process of sourcing local soil in as many as 27 different subtly varied shades helps “strengthen his feeling of connection to a place.”
5. Fun Art
Enjoy your own version of mud painting with your children outdoors on a sunny day. Dress the kids in their scruffiest clothes, tint a batch of fresh wet mud with tempera, and set your youngsters free with brushes and sheets of heavy paper. (Recycled cardboard is even better!)

6. Pottery, Plates, and Other Containers
Pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes all the water from the clay, which induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape. A clay body can be decorated before or after firing. Prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared.Kneading helps to ensure an even moisture content throughout the body. Air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed. This is called de-airing and can be accomplished by a machine called a vacuum pug or manually by wedging. Wedging can also help produce an even moisture content. Once a clay body has been kneaded and de-aired or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. After shaping it is dried and then fired!

7. And Just Fun 
Enjoy it. It's everywhere, and it's here to stay. Embrace the mud, the clay and the soil. 

The real "dirt" isn't the soil in which we and all life forms depend upon,
 but the unsustainable non bio degradable substances we create in which life can sustain without.
Soil isn't dirty. 
 We must realize this.