• Thanisha Chowdhury

The Benefits of Eating Dirt

Modern society and civilization alongside would not have progressed as far as they have, or even have started at all, had it not been for dirt. Today, the functions of the economy and environment still depend heavily on this frequently overlooked resource. Without it, the earth would be without the plants that render it habitable. These plants provide great value to humanity on their own, but the soil from which it grows is also beneficial--to eat. Eating dirt yields rewarding results to the human body, to the natural world, and to the soul itself.

Contrary to popular belief, dirt provides ample nutritional value to one’s health. In a study done by Cornell University, lead author, Sera Young, Ph.D., concluded that it helps to protect against pathogens and diseases while also strengthening the immune system. Additionally, microscopic beings that live in soil, called Soil-Based Organisms, or SBOs, are linked to the successful treatment of numerous illnesses, such as asthma, allergies, and indigestion. SBOs prevent pathogens and parasites from causing harm to the body, and assist in reducing inflammation on the walls of the stomach when ingested.

A concern that may come to mind when first considering the consumption of dirt is where one would acquire it. Fortunately, this is easily resolved. Dirt is very easily obtained, in a process as simple as leaving the home and looking down at the ground. More often than not, that is the end of the search. However, if this is still ineffective, a brief trip to a local gardening or home improvement store should suffice. There, dirt is sold at inexpensive prices and in quantities great enough to last months if eaten in planned amounts. Finding dirt to eat should not be an issue, given there sufficient effort is put into the task.

Last, but perhaps the greatest of all, is the emotional gratification that comes with eating soil. Without having ever tasted dirt, one is not able to imagine what it may taste like. The nagging curiosity will grow and gnaw with each passing day, becoming at one point a crippling presence, impossible to ignore. Furthermore, the valiant sense of freedom that comes with eating dirt can be described only as a cathartic experience. By straying from the typical, predictable behavior that is expected in everyday life, one is able to express rebellion and independence from the binding shackles of society. There is nothing more invigorating than swallowing a mouthful of dirt.

Eating dirt is perhaps one of the most advantageous activities one can partake in with natural materials. The act is currently common only in the most rural areas of Africa, but may it one day become widely practiced all throughout the world and lead to long, prosperous lives for all.

Works Cited

Axe, Josh. “Why You Should Eat Dirt - Yes, Dirt!” Dr. Axe, 20 Mar. 2016, draxe.com/eating-dirt/.

Bonham, Kevin. “Eating Dirt: The Benefits of Being (Relatively) Filthy.” Scientific American Blog Network, 18 Sept. 2013, blogs.scientificamerican.com/food-matters/eating-dirt-the-benefits-of-being-relatively-filthy/?redirect=1.

Ramanujan, Krishna. “Eating Dirt May Protect against Pathogens and Toxins.” Cornell Chronicle, 9 June 2011, news.cornell.edu/stories/2011/06/study-animals-and-humans-eat-clay-rid-toxins.

Cover art by Noah Buscher @noahbuscher