Andrew Hamilton

Eating Cornstarch, Chalk, and Clay

A bag of kaolin clay for sale at Sweet Auburn Market in Atlanta

An item that could have been included in Mondo Cane

by Andrew Hamilton

IT RECENTLY came to my attention that a number of young Black women have unusual eating habits.

The first weird “food” item I came across was cornstarch. (When cornstarch absorbs moisture from the atmosphere it forms chunks; some prefer to eat it that way.) They eat this with a spoon, or by hand when in chunk form, right out of the box.

Cornstarch looks much like flour or powdered sugar. I wondered if there was something desirable about its taste, akin to eating raw cookie dough, for example. Was it sweet?

I tasted some. Flat, flavorless, and unappetizing. Plus, it is extremely dry. I don’t know how they eat as much as they do without drinking water to wash it down with.

Cornstarch is a thickener used in cooking. It is not advisable to eat large quantities of it raw. Nevertheless, many Black women do just that — at home, at work, while visiting a friend at the hospital.

One such young woman, while eating raw Hodgson Mill cornstarch, explicitly stated she did not like the taste. She only ate it, she said, because she had bought the box and didn’t want to throw it away, even though it hadn’t cost much money. She added that she’d probably try different brands in the future!

Some Black women call eating cornstarch “addicting.” Others express a strong penchant for kaolin clay, chalk, drywall, or “small powdery rocks.”

The reason they consume these items has little to do with taste, but is primarily physiological.

One Black female wrote, “It’s a condition known as pica. My mother craved chalk, dry dirt, cornstarch, and even baby powder. It’s crazy . . .

According to my medical dictionary pica is “the compulsive eating of nonnutritive substances, such as ice, dirt, gravel, flaking paint or plaster [recall the many propaganda stories years ago about Black children eating peeling lead paint, a phenomenon the controlled media blamed on poverty caused by Whites], clay, hair, or laundry starch. It also occurs in some patients with iron or zinc deficiencies.”

You can gain firsthand insight into this strange phenomenon by watching a 13-minute self-made cellphone video by a Black woman who is (or was) addicted to eating schoolboard chalk that she buys at the dollar store. The woman is unusually articulate and self-aware compared to the other Blacks I’ve seen. She is also a lesbian.

She repeatedly refers to what she is doing (she ingests four sticks of chalk on camera) as “ridiculous,” “embarrassing,” and “disgusting.” She conceals her practice from others. She shot the video surreptitiously in her bathroom — and then posted it on the Internet.

She says eating chalk is not a necessity, nor an addiction (though at the beginning of the video she calls it a “true addiction” and titles her piece “Chalk addiction”), but a craving. She takes an iron supplement and identifies a probable relationship between that fact and her craving for chalk.

The woman likes its smell — “cheap” — and especially chalk’s “hard, crunchy surface.”

So: craving, texture, and the tentative identification of a suspected underlying physiological cause for her desire.

Unlike the girl I mentioned previously, taste is also a factor. She calls chalk “delicious,” saying it tastes like a “medium rare steak” or “a glass of chardonnay.”

As with the cornstarch eaters, she chews through four sticks of chalk without drinking any water to wash it down with. This habit of eating large quantities of bizarre dry materials without any liquid is quite striking. You’d think swallowing would be difficult, or that they might choke. But this does not appear to be the case.

A Black female commenter wrote of this woman:

The issue is not mental. Her body physically craves these things. Ppl like us with this problem can not help our compulsion to eat things we should not. I refrain, but am still compelled to want to eat flour. What she is doing is hard to watch because it makes me want to bite off a piece of chalk. I will not, and have not since I was a little girl, but it’s hard not to.

It was impossible not to notice that all of the subjects were Black women. The fact just jumps out at you. Fundamentally it is a racial issue, though I’m certain the culture distorters, using censorship and the mass media, could artificially induce the same behavior in Whites.

A specific form of pica known as geophagia is eating clay or dirt. “Clay Eating,” an article in the New Georgia Encyclopedia (2013), says the following about the eating of kaolin clay in Georgia: “The ingestion of white clay occurs predominantly among African American women who have been introduced to eating clay by family members or friends, either as children or during pregnancy. Clay-eating by men or non-African Americans is unusual, though cases have been reported.”

The racial and sexual characteristics alluded to by the Encyclopedia obviously extend to the eating of raw cornstarch, schoolboard chalk, and other such materials as well.

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13 October, 2017 1:44 am

How strange. Interestingly, black board chalk is made of calcium carbonate and clay to bind it together. Maybe this behavior is driven by some kind of nutritional deficiency. I also know that certain kinds of clay like bentonite possess a negative charge and actually attach to certain positively-charged toxins in the intestinal tract, thus pulling them out of the body. Elephants in Africa will seek out specific lake beds where they know this clay exists beneath the water to dig it out and eat it. The clay helps remove the phyto-toxins from their bodies that come from many of the different kinds of leaves they eat. I can’t make sense out of the cornstarch. It also cannot help black women, who have a huge propensity for diabetes, to be eating… Read more »

13 October, 2017 4:13 am

This phenomenon also reminds me of certain insects, how say a roach or some other bug will eat powders, dried glues, etc. I’ve heard it said that if the entire world and all of the living animals on it were destroyed, the roach would still thrive indefinitely. Because they are able to eat almost anything and are able to extract sustenance from the most unlikely sources… even from dust particles. My point is that maybe this phenomenon in Blacks, this craving for eating things that most people find both bizarre and non-nutritious, in some way, is related to a survival machination on par with roaches. Most people aren’t inclined towards eating other people either, but Blacks seem to have long ago developed a taste for that also. As you know,… Read more »

Walt Hampton
Walt Hampton
13 October, 2017 8:20 am

It’s just a Black thing…Whites wouldn’t understand.. :-)

Anthony Collins
Anthony Collins
14 October, 2017 10:25 am

Pica might be caused by a combination of iron deficiency and intelligence deficiency. Among Blacks, the former appears to be relatively common, while the latter is practically universal. Despite the “anti-racist” clichés that “we all bleed the same blood,” “we all bleed the same color,” and the like — echoed by Donald Trump in his remark, “we all bleed the same red blood of patriots” — there are racial differences in blood composition. For example, the abstract of the article linked below states: “The average results of some laboratory measurements, including the hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), serum transferrin saturation (TS), serum ferritin, and white blood cell count of African-Americans differ from those of whites. Anonymized samples and laboratory data from 1491 African-American and 31 005 white subjects, approximately equally… Read more »

Michael R
Michael R
15 October, 2017 3:08 am

I saw a show where some Black woman couldn’t stop eating toilet paper. She ate multiple different brands that she kept folded in a sandwhich bag. She would eat it anywhere and everywhere, such as in lieu of popcorn at the movies. Her favorite was 4-ply.

Reply to  Michael R
20 April, 2020 7:15 pm

So the show my weird addiction only shows black people??? Y all are delusional

Reply to  Rene
20 April, 2020 12:19 pm

Ok nigger.

Harry Savannah
Harry Savannah
15 October, 2017 9:26 pm

From a child, who grew up in a state composed of 13% blacks (with my particular schools attended reflecting about the same), I was always repulsed by blacks for what I regarded as their physical grotesqueness and for their typical anti-social and menacing behavior (depraved, actually). Nothing, really, surprises me about their alien behavior.

Andronicus Rex
Andronicus Rex
17 October, 2017 2:01 pm

This is just sad and illustrates that many of our colored citizens are just not quite at our level. If anything we should have curious sympathy for them.

For those who foist them on upon us as equals and more deserving than we, well.. we are very entitled to outright blinding rage.

Sympathy for the lesser until they become troublesome, but rage against the overlord who foists fallacy upon us as he raises his abattoir’s knife to slit our throats once and for all.

When dumb animals are bred to fight, it isn’t the dumb animal who is our “chosen” problem.

Noble White
Noble White
18 October, 2017 1:46 pm

This may or may not be the true cause of the phenomenon but it is nonetheless how I view it.

Picture a White mathemetician writing formulas on a chalkboard. Sheniqua eats the chalk.

This is your brain. This is your brain on gibs. Any questions?

Wakanda Forever
Wakanda Forever
30 May, 2019 3:50 am

We wuz Kangs!