Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"They Actually Eat That:" Seriously ANYTHING.


Forget goats; humans should be the poster child for the omnivorous animal. Goats stop after they realize that a law school book is unpalatable. Humans eat veggies, which would be expected of an ape our size, as well as giant ungulates, galliformes, fish, insects and crustaceans. Basically, if we can grab it, we try to eat it. Goats have nothing on Homo sapiens sapiens.

Despite our versatile diet, we think goats are weird for trying to eat paper and tin cans. As you can probably guess, the kicker is that humans eat plenty of weirder things than goats, including cans, paper, dirt, spoons, razor blades, toothbrushes, gum, pencils, name it, somebody has stuck it in their mouth and tried to eat it. Those little pellet bags in shoe boxes have "do not eat" stamped all over them for a reason (i.e. somebody tried and the shoe company got sued).

Remember last week when I said that, if humans did not get the proper nutrients, they would go crazy? That's what pica is.

No, not Pika. Although, now that I think about it, rodents are towards the bottom of the food chain...

They Actually Eat That?! 

I will let this picture do most of the talking:

This woman, who was understandably condemned to a nuthouse in life, swallowed a lot of things that people should not eat ever: buttons, safety pins, coins, screws, a few thimbles, and other things in a diet that most people would say befits a goat more than a human. Whether this puts the Dutch woman who ate a whole Williams-Sonoma store minus the knives to shame or not is up to you.

Look at these two cases for more than a minute and you will find that they have at least two things in common: One, both of the women in question were, in fact, women, and two, there were a lot of metal objects involved. This is no coincidence - pica is more common in women (especially pregnant women; pica is possibly linked to those cravings you hear new moms talking about) and children than it is in men. It is also linked to nutritional deficiencies, especially those from diets lacking iron.

Or Cthulhu. IA IA!

Believe it or not, there is an explanation for wanting to eat strange things aside from insanity. Humans and other animals (dogs and cats come to mind) naturally seek out the elements they are lacking in their diet. Eating strange things completes them, so to speak. As for the women and children, there is such a thing as being too clean; pregnant women and young children might, subconsciously, be trying to improve their immune systems by getting acquainted with certain microbes early. 

Or maybe humans are just batshit crazy. Your call.

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