Clay Is New Food Delicacy Dirt Is Hot In South Africa JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- The latest tasty treat to fly off the shelves in South Africa is clay. Clay: It's What's For Dinner The craving for clay is usually found among pregnant and lactating women. Clay eating, however, is a widespread practice in South Africa and neighboring countries. It is also a popular treat in parts of Europe and the United States. Some vendors say the practice has sometimes become addictive. Some vendors have even claimed that customers become angry or depressed when they run out of clay. Some of the clay eaters believe eating it cleans out their intestinal tract and rids the body of infections and parasites. A professor of geology at Wits University in South Africa confirmed that the clay does have medicinal use and is not particularly harmful. However, some doctors have said that overconsumption can lead to constipation, vomiting and nausea. There is also a possibility of ingesting parasitic worms, or eggs of the worms by eating the soil.