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September 2017

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Gardening

Diatomaceous Earth

Several months ago I bought a 1lb bag of food grade diotomaceous earth to get rid of this problem I have with drug store beetles. I got the food grade because I was concerned about my cats. Technically the food grade and the pest control versions should be identical but I figure if they put a label on it saying "food grade" they have an obligation to make sure it isn't toxic.

I just looked up some websites about it for a friends of mine who is having a problem with ants and needs something that is safe for her dogs.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth FAQ

Reading the Earthworks website people are claiming to lose weight, decrease pain, and grow stronger hair and nails from eating diotomaceous earth. I'm not sure how eating fine silica dust could do that, but I still have a lot of it left. The worst case scenario is nothing happens. The best case scenario is I lose weight, have less pain, and stronger hair and nails.

So I'm giving it a try. I drank a tablespoon of it mixed in water yesterday. It's a bit crunchy but otherwise innocuous. I thought it would taste like mud or chalk but it really doesn't really taste like anything. My stomach was a bit upset yesterday and I had some gas. But I'm not sure if that was related. I will have to see if it continues.

A Peck of Gold
by Robert Frost
Dust always blowing about the town,
Except when sea-fog laid it down,
And I was one of the children told
Some of the blowing dust was gold.

All the dust the wind blew high
Appeared like god in the sunset sky,
But I was one of the children told
Some of the dust was really gold.

Such was life in the Golden Gate:
Gold dusted all we drank and ate,
And I was one of the children told,
'We all must eat our peck of gold.'


UPDATE: Well, that didn't last long. By the third day I has tired of this and stopped. Probably not long enough for a really good trial. But I go by the theory that if my body really wanted silica it would let me know. It hasn't.

Comments

Lots of people eat dirt, historically and in the modern era. It's particularly common among some groups of black people from the deep south, and relates to nutrition deficiencies and traditions in the part of Africa the slaves there were imported from.

Eat Dirt!

Yes. I had heard that. Although diotomaceous earth is different from the clay that is popular in the South.

This siteGrandma's White Dirt of Georgia says their dirt is made of aluminum silicate hydroxide a kind of Bentonite. So it has a lot of silicate in it. Amazon.com has lots of Bentonite for sale

And I found an article about it Southern Practice of Eating Dirt Shows Signs of Waning By William E. Schmidt, The New York Times, February 13, 1984.

Re: Eat Dirt!

Silicate is different than silica (is different than silicone or silicon). A lot of minerals are silicates, and silicates make up the majority of the Earth's crust.

Wikipedia is confusing on this issue in that they say that silica is sometimes considered a silica, despite not needing the cations that all other silicates need. It also says diatoms make silicate skeletons, and diatominous earth is made of silica (with alumina as an impurity).

Bentonite is a (silicate) clay that is known for being very water absorbent and clumpy. It's used to seal foundations from leaking (by burying a ring of bentonite around the foundation so it clumps and forms a water-impervious boundary). It's also used to make clumping cat litter for much the same reasons. It's often added to quacky "detox" cleanses because it clumps internally and essentially forms a (soft) cast of your intestines which looks very impressive and unexpected when it comes out ("look at the big mass of toxins our product forced out of your system!").