Poor Haitains Eating Dirt

This is how bad it can get:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) “” It was lunchtime in one of Haiti’s worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud. With food prices rising, Haiti’s poorest can’t afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies. Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country’s central plateau.

The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.

“When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day,” Charlene said. Her baby, named Woodson, lay still across her lap, looking even thinner than the slim 6 pounds 3 ounces he weighed at birth.

Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies also give her stomach pains. “When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky too,” she said.

Food prices around the world have spiked because of higher oil prices, needed for fertilizer, irrigation and transportation. Prices for basic ingredients such as corn and wheat are also up sharply, and the increasing global demand for biofuels is pressuring food markets as well. Poor Haitains Eating Dirt


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3 thoughts on “Poor Haitains Eating Dirt

  • January 30, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Amazing! people eating mud for food and the males in these countries still have to get their rocks off and produce more children…simply amazing!

  • January 30, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    I am not so sure this is about “those Haitians”. It is true that eating dirt cookies is nothing new in Haiti. The news is that they have little else because of price increases. Haiti is in collapse. What will we eat when food distribution channels break down here? We eat 1,500 mile meals. A few decent fuel shortages and we might be surfing the Internet to find the dirt cookie recipe. We are creating worldwide food shortages to create fuel for our gas guzzlers. Our grain reserves are dangerously low. It can happen here.

  • February 1, 2008 at 7:11 am

    The ‘smart’ money knows the future will be in food production:
    The hedge fund manager who bought a farm

    The cost of farm property looks likely to soar as traditional British “lifestyle farmers” are joined by multimillion-pound investors hurriedly moving their wealth out of stocks and shares and into farmland. Across the world, hedge fund managers, property developers and other investors are turning their eyes to places such as Russia, Argentina and Uruguay, where farms are thought to be underdeveloped and provide an opportunity to profit from the rising prices of staples such as wheat, barley and oil-seed rape.”

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