Eat More Dirt…

Written by: Kevin (AKA the weaners’ daddy)

I am an urbanized farm boy. Coming from the Peace Country in Northern Alberta I never knew what ‘typical’ produce was supposed to look like… turns out it is uniform shape, uniform colour and blemish free – according to major grocery chains anyways. Not on the farm. (aside: did you know those mini carrot packages are actually made up of machined down giant carrots… or so says my pa). On the farm, garden vegetables have bumps, bruises, and come in all sizes. I once dug up a potato that looked like Ross Perot, big ears and all. To the point, sitting in the garden as a child I would routinely pull carrots, parsnips, turnips and pick cucumbers, beans, peas etc, etc with no intentions of ridding them of the majority of the earthen materials they are covered with prior to partaking in their savory unaltered goodness. This was not due to my inherent good intentions of healthy living. However, it turns out that I and most farm kids are on to something when it comes to how much dirt we grow up ingesting. As a matter of fact, it even has a scientific name – Geophagy (though the definition suggests some sort of compulsion, I in particular was more driven by laziness – not wanting to waste time returning to the house to ‘properly’ wash the produce prior to partaking of my bounty). Research suggests the clays in soil are particularly good at plant toxin removal. Minerals naturally found in soil are routinely taken as supplement pills (especially during pregnancy as the body’s demand increases). It is also said that soil, again referring back to the clay portion of the material, is capable of building up the immune system…. bodies of evidence even suggest that farm children (like me!) have fewer incidents of allergies and auto-immune diseases than our city dwelling brethren. With the discussions that have ensued, my wife’s ingrained pessimism has subsided and I now have free reign to have our two girls reduce our previously instilled cleanliness mantra…. at least when it comes to vegetables straight from Grandpa’s garden. Moral of the story… dirt is not to be as feared – Eat more dirt.

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  1. October 25, 2010

    You know what Pa is right! I was shocked when watching an innocent program on how carrots come from farm to table. I never knew the large carrots are whittled down to these little stumps and the packaged as “baby” carrots. Huh go figure!

  2. October 25, 2010

    HA! No wonder I’ve got a good immune system. I even have pictures of me eating dirt when I was a toddler!!! My wife always teases me about that…. So there Kia!

  3. October 25, 2010

    Ha ha, I am glad to see that we haven’t started a controversy over here! Kelly, did you know that those carrots even have a little chlorine added to them? Jamie, we will still all point and laugh at the pics:)

  4. October 25, 2010

    It really doesn’t surprise me. Tonight I was googling the difference between Free Range and Organic eggs. Needless to say I wasn’t impressed with the answer. 🙁

  5. October 26, 2010

    Yes, eggs, sometimes it is hard knowing the truth!!

  6. October 28, 2010

    Kevin – Nicely put! 🙂 You’ve got quite a knack for writing!! Now if only eating dog poop was as healthy as eating dirt! 😉 Problem is, at my house, the flower beds contain both! Yuck!

  7. October 29, 2010

    Ha ha, as a child Kevin was told to eat some ‘chocolate’ that turned out to be rabbit poop. I am sure he can find some evidence to support the idea of eating poop:)

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