Do you ever get weird cravings?  I woke up this morning with the biggest craving for dirt.  I thought about dirt all day long.  Dark, crunchy, moist dirt makes me salivate.  I know how weird this is.

I know I used to eat dirt for kicks when I was little so I told my mom about this weird craving that’s been haunting me all day long, and she said dirt cravings are called pica and that it means I’m iron deficient!  I thought she was pulling my leg, but sure enough I googled it and she’s right.

Pica is a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for non-nutritive substances (like metal, clay, soil, chalk, paper, etc.)  The craving has to persist for more than a month to be considered pica and it occurs mainly in pregnant women, kids, and those with developmental disabilities (and no I’m not preggers).

In addition, multiple sources I found stated that craving dirt normally means you’re lacking iron in your diet.  Good sources of dietary iron include red meat, fish, poultry, lentils, beans, leaf vegetables, tofu, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, fortified bread, and fortified breakfast cereals.  So, being 26 days vegan now, this would make sense, since back in the day my main iron source would have been meat.  (On the other hand though I did donate blood three weeks ago and they said my iron was all good.)

p.s. I tried a spoonful of dirt, just to see what it tasted like!  Not as good as you might (or might not) think.  The flavour’s actually pretty good but it is so gritty and I’m pretty sure my dentist wouldn’t approve.  Anyways it did not satisfy me so clearly it’s not really dirt I’m craving!