Geophagy in Việt
Công Nghiệp, Dương Đức Kiêm, Trần Tân Văn,
Kiều Quý Nam, Nguyễn Văn Việt, Đỗ Doãn Hoàng
Geophagy, the practice of eating earth or soil like substances, such as clay and chalk, is a popular phenomenon in the world. In Việt Nam, this tradition was first discovered in Lập Thạch (Vĩnh Phúc Province) and many other places in Phú Thọ, Lào Cai, Yên Bái, Điện Biên, Lai Châu Provinces. There might be some reasons for this behaviour, including: micronutrient supply; food detoxication; “deceiving the stomach” when hungry; habit from the commune traditional and religion-spiritual values; manifestation of “atavism”; reliefing from stress, etc..
It seems abnormal, however, the geophagy is also the demand of material and spiritual life of human beings. It should not be discriminated nor encouraged, because geophagy can at the same time bring into the body toxic elements and/or harmful viruses.
In order to fully understand geophagy in our country, it is necessary to carry out a research project with the close cooperation between scientists and concerned parties both in social and natural sciences, then to establish the sound recognition and to propose appropriate policy for socio-cultural management and public health protection related to this tradition as well.
Ngày nhận bài: 15/04/2008
Người biên tập: Nguyễn Linh Ngọc