Seeing red

an abnormal craving for a certain food item, or even a nutrient such as clay or starch that may have undesirable health effects, is defined as pica. Patients with food pica typically ingest large amounts of crunchy foods like celery, carrots, peanuts, seeds or crackers. Pica occurs in up to 60 per cent of patients with iron-deficiency anaemia when it typically manifests in the form of a craving for ice, which is called pagophagia.

Now, you can include a craving for tomatoes in the pica category. The take-home message is that a physician should inquire specifically about