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I think this question about pica is a good question because it relates to many things that are fun to think about: the culture of food, the definition of abnormal behavior in light of cultural expectations for behavior, and also a relatively new field in behavioral studies called zoopharmacognosy Zoh-o-farm-uh-cog-nose-ee is how I say it.
Next month in Chicago, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will devote a session of its annual meeting to "zoopharmacognosy," the use of medicinal plants by animals.
It's what introduced me to zoopharmacognosy, the study of animal self-medication with plants and other substances.