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The dirt on eating dirt. January 29, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. I was a bit rattled to go on Yahoo!’s home page this morning and see a feature about a French restaurant in Tokyo that was serving a special menu on which every course contained dirt. At Ne Quittez Pas, and for only $110, you can enjoy potato starch and dirt soup, salad with dirt dressing, aspic with oriental clams and a top layer of sediment, dirt risotto with sauteed sea bass, dirt gratin, and dirt ice cream. What a steal! I hope you’re booking your plane reservation now.

Mind you, this isn’t just any old dirt. It’s composed by a company called Protoleaf from volcanic ashes, soil, and plants from the Kanto District of Japan. Protoleaf claims that their special dirt contains healthy bacteria to boost digestive health along with minerals our bodies need.

Um. Speaking of lost in translation. No doubt, if the company had called its product something more euphemistic, maybe “earth essentials” or “natural nutrients,” it wouldn’t be making front-screen news on Yahoo! “Dirt” is definitely less food-friendly. Even earth, soil, and compost have less negative connotations when it comes to eating, uh, dirt.

Not that eating dirt is a novelty. Creatures from earthworms to parrots and people eat mineral-rich clays and other soils to get their nutrient fix. There’s even a scientific term for people who eat clay in order to get the minerals their bodies need: geophagy. But generally speaking, they’re not paying $110 per meal and aren’t worried about chemical contamination and other toxic pollutants.

According to the Japanese website Rocket News, which sent reporters to sample Ne Quittez Pas’s special dirt menu, the food might have looked a bit dirty but it tasted delicious. If they say so. I think I’ll just stay home, pocket my $110 (plus air fare, hotel expenses, and the like) and make a good, hot, dirt-free meal.

‘Til next time,

Silence

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