Eating Dirt

When I was young, I ate dirt. I actually remember it. I think I was probably four or five, can’t imagine remembering it any earlier. It came to mind this week as I was searching the web for help eradicating Candida and came across a blog touting the health benefits of Diatomaceous Earth.

“What the hell is that?”


That’s what I said too.

Basically, it’s fossilized algae and it’s made up mostly of sharp little silica tubules and it is purported to have some super sweet health benefits. I’ll let you know what I think in two weeks.


This week I think it’s meaner than Candida, I’ve been the most miserably bloated person all this week, until today, that is. Today I feel human again.

In all honesty, there isn’t much I wouldn’t do to get rid of Candida. So, after a 44 year hiatus, I ate my dirt. And it was as delicious as I remember, that’s the weird freaky true part. I remember very clearly, warm sun beating down on my head, my bare toes in the dirt, the velvety leaves of strawberry plants. As mom crouched across from me, pushing the plants aside and selecting red, ripe berries, she’d pass one to me every now and then. A delicious, juicy strawberry, she would wipe off the dirt on her polyester slacks and hand it to me with bits of earth still clinging from her fingers. I licked the grit off the outside, sucking the berry clean before chewing it while she watched from under her wide-brimmed straw gardening hat. She’d go back to picking and I’d pick up tiny clumps of dirt enjoying the grit and strawberry juice.

Later that same summer, she caught me eating it by the handful and slapped my hand. It was the same summer I watched my older brother eat dead flies out of the windowsill, an uncontrollable wrinkle on my nose as he picked them up by their wings and they disappeared down his gullet.

“Ewwwwww!” My younger sister complained from behind me.

At the time, I wondered which was worse, dirt or flies.

Flies, definitely flies.


0 thoughts on “Eating Dirt”

  1. Oh my! I remember this for my garden though! Never thought to eat it but then my kid probably woulnd’t mind 🙂 I need an update in 2 weeks!

  2. Oh, flies win hands down! I don’t actually remember eating dirt, but I do remember my 2 year old son’s nappy containing evidence of some very odd non food stuff (he was a little dustbin!) Very interested in your results, keep us posted.

  3. Dirt on a freshly picked tomato is good, too, for some reason, maybe it’s a little salty.

    Watching your brother eat flies — that would be a great opening scene for a novel, too. Ah, loyalty.

    1. Oh, brothers don’t get any of that, no way!! I have a crystal clear memory of mud balls filled with rocks, being chased with grasshoppers, having spiders tossed in my hair and the lights turned off while I was in the basement store room and hearing them laugh while they held the door shut on their side…..
      No, the siblings are fair game, it’s mom and dad that twinge the conscience.
      Yum, salty fresh tomatoes.

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