There’s an eating disorder called pica. Over the years, doctors have reported cases of people with pica eating dirt, chalk, clay, paste, paint chips, paper, cardboard, ice chips, and Styrofoam. In one case, a 22-year-old woman showed up in the emergency room with undigested pieces of socks in her stomach. Many of these weird cravings are all caused by the same thing: a lack of iron in the diet. In other words, the body craves iron, and people try to satisfy that craving by eating all these other things, which, by the way, don’t contain iron. Think of it – an inner, unidentified need prompting people to eat all sorts of weird stuff. Even though they crave them, they’ll never satisfy the real need that the body has, which is iron. Once these people start getting enough iron, the cravings go away.