Updated 01 March 2019

Woman addicted to eating clay turns it into a business

A woman who is addicted to eating clay decided to turn her addiction in a business to cater for people like her.

Mandisa Manye has a rather unusual addiction – she is addicted to eating clay. 

Manye's craving first started as a child and developed as she grew older. When she was a young child, she started eating the chalk at her school. In high school, she continued eating chalk, until she discovered clay, which she started buying online.

Non-nutritive substances

She's a qualified science teacher, but decided to pack it in and start her own business – an online store where people who have the same addiction can buy the clay they crave.

Manye has the disorder known as pica. People who have pica crave non-nutritive substances like clay, chalk, sand, ice, talcum powder, cigarette ash, coal or pencil erasers, to name but a few.

Pica can be caused by an iron deficiency or anaemia, but eating the non-nutritive substances does not supply the body with the minerals it lacks.