Scrabble Bingo of the Day: GEOPHAGY

GEOPHAGY

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: GEOPHAGY [n]

Geophagy is the practice of eating earth, especially chalk or clay, in famine-stricken regions. It applies to both wild animals and humans. When humans eat soil-like substances, it's usually to augment a scanty or mineral-deficient diet, or done as part of a cultural tradition in preindustrial rural societies, most often among children and pregnant women. But many impoverished societies eat earthy substances regularly because of food scarcity. Haitians are known to eat mud cookies, where three-quarters of the population earns less than two dollars a day.

Geophagy is also closely related to pica, an eating disorder characterized by cravings for non-food items, such as dirt or paper.

GEOPHAGIA [n/pl.] -S geophagy
GEOPHAGY [n/pl.] -IES the practice of eating earthy substances
* GEOPHAGISM [n/pl.] -S the act or habit of eating earth
* GEOPHAGIST [n/pl.] -S one who eats earth, as dirt, clay, chalk, etc.
* GEOPHAGOUS [adj] earth eating; feeding on soil

Related words:

PICA [n/pl.] -S a craving for unnatural food
PICAL [adj] resembling a pica

* Only acceptable in Scrabble play outside of North America.

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