Baobao explained to The Rockall Times culinary correspondent that she developed her dirt-eating habit at the age of seven, consuming soil attached to grass roots, as her mother’s cooking tasted like shi*t.
“It’s very good for my complexion and a great source of fibre, but I’ve developed a preference for yellow mud recently as it doesn’t contain sand or pebble debris, which have been playing hell with my teeth.”
During the interview, Baobao estimated she’d eaten about three tons of soil since she was first stricken by the urge to eat earth as a child – the equivalent of two Premier league football pitches. She related her favourite meals are organic compost with a dressing of chalk, and fresh turf tortillas.However, Baobao's addiction has had serious implications for her neighbour's roof, made from citrine mud which is traditionally used as a weather resistant material.
Apparently the mud tiles proved exceptionally tasty, with Baobao sneaking out for regular midnight snacks until leaks in the roof during a thunderstorm led to the discovery of the problem and a court restraining order issued against the girl.
The extraordinary practice of earth eating is well documented by medical and anthropology journals and classified as ‘pica’ or ‘geophagy’.
While not being considered a social norm in Western society, the custom is quite common among primitive or economically depressed peoples, and also animals, to augment a scanty or mineral-deficient diet. However, the practice is most often confined to people suffering from chronic mental illness and commonly labeled as ‘nutters’.
In contrast, in the slums of Haiti, people make and eat mud pies on a daily basis, with the earth being mixed with water and sieved through a cheesecloth to remove inedible stones. The batter is then formed into pancakes and fried, selling in the local markets at five for a dime. Fortunately these are not approved for the export market - yet – Tesco’s Finest ? – check the shelves.
Most definitely a radical culinary option for Jamie Oliver to consider on his healthy school meals menu – Topsoil Burgers or Oggy Oggy Cornish Clay Pasties.