Sunday, July 7, 2019

Food and Personal Preferences

A subject that I really enjoyed learning about was the topic of food. Growing up, I was always interested in why some people developed "pica" an eating disorder in which people eat things that are not classified as food and do not contain any nutritional value.  In the "food" section of the lecture, Professor Berg explains food neophobia. Food neophobia is the tendency to avoid novel foods and to prefer familiar foods. With food neophobia being instilled in humans, my interest peaked and rose questions in relations to pica. Technically speaking, with food neophobia being in place due to evolutionary precations, pica should not be a disorder, right? Wrong! In my research, I learned that maybe those who eat clay (which would get them diagnosed with pica) may have origins to Australia or Turkey. In those areas, clay was eaten as a fertility food which may explain pica and how it has progressed in different forms. In the video I linked within this post, you can watch Nicole explain how the disorder has affected her.


  1. In a prior class, I learned that neophobia may be considered adaptive since it ensures that one does not eat dangerous foods or non-nutritive foods. Although pica’s origin with clay eating in Turkey and Australia may be cultural since it was considered a fertility food, I am not sure how this could be attributed to other cases of pica throughout the world. I learned that pica is a need determined behavior and that for some, pica can be attributed to nutrient deficiencies; specifically an iron deficiency. In fact, there are studies that pica will end in several days when the person is given an iron supplement .

  2. I honestly have never heard of pica before. After reading your response though it does look very interesting. I did not know that in certain countries eating clay can be considered fertility food. This would lead to several other questions about pica, like what other foods seem like they are different to most people but to others have significant value? This is very interesting and I am going to look more into it

  3. This topic of pica I find incredibly interesting. When I was younger, I can remember flicking through the television channels and coming across a show called, "My Strange Addictions." I have vivid memories of watching unpleasant, non food consumptions. After reading through the slides, your post, and watching the video clips, I now know that there is actually a disorder related to this. I would have never thought that someone who chooses to eat clay could possibly have origins in Australia or Turkey. Cannot wait to look into this topic more!