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Ampo usually consumed as a light meal or snack, especially loved by the women who are pregnant. This habit of eating clay is also known as geophagy, human geophagy may be related to pica, a classified eating disorder in the DSM-IV characterized by abnormal cravings for nonfood items. The habit of many owned by people from various countries in the world, although most of the countries that have the habit of eating clay is never admit it.
Impact on health
Food from clay, named "Ampo" This has become a traditional food that is trusted by the people in the island of Java, especially people in Central Java and East Java, is believed to strengthen the digestive system. Even eating clay is also believed to be a drug that can treat several kinds of diseases.
In a Science Digest article (Paraquat: a Potent Weed Killer is Killing People), it is recommended that a paraquat poisoning victim promptly swallow dirt, even at the risk of salmonella, because paraquat is deactivated upon contact with soil. Otherwise, a sufficiently lethal dose would cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and especially the lungs, usually causing death by asphyxiation by causing severe fibrosis. Lung transplants in two victims merely delayed their deaths because chemical levels still in their bodies subsequently damaged the transplanted lungs, too.
There is also evidence that supports the usefulness of the flora found in soil, ingredients of ampo. Some have even suggested that it is useful, if not vital, in the establishment of healthy bacteria within the digestive tract, addressing the problems presented by Crohn's Disease and Leaky Gut Syndrome. Highly adsorbent families of clays have been demonstrated to cause the lining of the vertebrate gut to change both on a cellular and acellular level, potentially protecting the gut from chemical insults as well as alleviating ailments such as esophagitis, gastritis, and colitis.
There are obvious risks in the consumption of ampo and clay that is contaminated by animal or human feces; in particular, parasite eggs, such as roundworm, that can stay dormant for years, can present a problem. Tetanus poses a further risk. Nevertheless, these risks are generally well understood by most tribal populations that engage in geophagy, hence 'clean' earth from below the surface level is sought out. Children's predilection to engage in geophagy makes them more susceptible to worm infestations. Other dangers associated with geophagia include damage to tooth enamel, the ingestion of a variety of bacteria, various forms of soil contamination, and intestinal obstruction.
In the traditional societies, producing ampo by heat-treat (bake) the earth before consumption, and this tends to mitigate the risks to some extent.
There is a psychological hypothesis, which is centred on the cravings reported by clay eaters. Researchers' attention was directed mainly towards pregnant and postpartum women and their emotional states. Geophagy was attributed to feelings of misery, homesickness, depression, and alienation.
- (Indonesian) Ampo, Camilan dari Tanah Liat. indosiar.com
- Ampo, Snack Made By Soil. Do You Believe It? hubpages.com
- Think twice before you say ew 2013 Flavor Boulevard
- Peter Abrahams, Human Geophagy: A Review of Its Distribution, Causes, and Implications. in H. Catherine W. Skinner, Antony R. Berger, Geology and health: closing the gap. Oxford University Press US, 2003, p. 33. ISBN 0-19-516204-8
- Pica Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders
- (Indonesian) NEWS & FEATURES / HEALTH CONCERN - ARTIKEL - Kompas.com "Makan Tanah Liat Baik untuk Pencernaan?". Retrieved 2013-08-22.
- Makan Tanah Itu Liat Baik www.kopimaya.com
- Sera Young from Cornell University, New York, USA, study about geophagy.
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- "unik aneh - Inilah Satu-Satunya Suku yang Memakan Tanah Liat Panggang" (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2013-08-22.
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- Kwong, A.M.; Henry, J. (2003). "Why is geophagy treated like dirt?". Deviant Behavior 24 (4): 353–371. doi:10.1080/713840222.