Food News

The Ancient Andean Tradition of Eating Clay May Have Helped To Protect Health

Via Tony Dunnell

 

How an unusual dietary custom may have benefited inhabitants of the Andes…

Talking about clay makes Amilcar Apaza nostalgic for his childhood in Juliaca, Peru, a city in the Andean highlands. He remembers gathering with his family in his grandmother’s fields in the nearby countryside for the potato harvest. There, they would build a small oven to cook the fresh potatoes and eat them, dipping the potatoes in a sauce made of clay, water and salt…

The type of clay that Apaza ate is known as chaco in Quechua or pasa in Aymara, two native Andean languages. Edible clay is collected from several main deposits in the altiplano. While the exact composition varies depending on where the clay was unearthed, it is normally rich in certain minerals called smectites.

Read on at The Salt.

 

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