Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Milk Grenades

Eating Dirt

Recommended Posts

Poor Haitians Resort to Eating Dirt

 

ALeqM5hx9aLzrSUgMlhDBOiMn51tvVBKJw?size=m

 

By JONATHAN M. KATZ – 1 day ago

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.

 

ALeqM5hfEhIpLBYvG0_pj49eb5OWYHubkg?size=m

(mud cookies)

 

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.

The problem is particularly dire in the Caribbean, where island nations depend on imports and food prices are up 40 percent in places.

The global price hikes, together with floods and crop damage from the 2007 hurricane season, prompted the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency to declare states of emergency in Haiti and several other Caribbean countries. Caribbean leaders held an emergency summit in December to discuss cutting food taxes and creating large regional farms to reduce dependence on imports.

At the market in the La Saline slum, two cups of rice now sell for 60 cents, up 10 cents from December and 50 percent from a year ago. Beans, condensed milk and fruit have gone up at a similar rate, and even the price of the edible clay has risen over the past year by almost $1.50. Dirt to make 100 cookies now costs $5, the cookie makers say.

Still, at about 5 cents apiece, the cookies are a bargain compared to food staples. About 80 percent of people in Haiti live on less than $2 a day and a tiny elite controls the economy.

Merchants truck the dirt from the central town of Hinche to the La Saline market, a maze of tables of vegetables and meat swarming with flies. Women buy the dirt, then process it into mud cookies in places such as Fort Dimanche, a nearby shanty town.

Carrying buckets of dirt and water up ladders to the roof of the former prison for which the slum is named, they strain out rocks and clumps on a sheet, and stir in shortening and salt. Then they pat the mixture into mud cookies and leave them to dry under the scorching sun.

The finished cookies are carried in buckets to markets or sold on the streets.

A reporter sampling a cookie found that it had a smooth consistency and sucked all the moisture out of the mouth as soon as it touched the tongue. For hours, an unpleasant taste of dirt lingered.

Assessments of the health effects are mixed. Dirt can contain deadly parasites or toxins, but can also strengthen the immunity of fetuses in the womb to certain diseases, said Gerald N. Callahan, an immunology professor at Colorado State University who has studied geophagy, the scientific name for dirt-eating.

Haitian doctors say depending on the cookies for sustenance risks malnutrition.

"Trust me, if I see someone eating those cookies, I will discourage it," said Dr. Gabriel Thimothee, executive director of Haiti's health ministry.

Marie Noel, 40, sells the cookies in a market to provide for her seven children. Her family also eats them.

"I'm hoping one day I'll have enough food to eat, so I can stop eating these," she said. "I know it's not good for me."

 

 

 

 

ALeqM5jNTQw7IyjmKDY_Nb-JOhqgTK7o4w?size=m

Cajeunes,11, shows his tongue after eating a mud cookie in Cite Soleil, Friday, Jan. 18, 2008. Rising prices and food shortages threaten the nation's fragile stability, and the mud cookies, made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening, are one of very few options the poorest people have to stave off hunger. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

 

 

 

 

ALeqM5jnW7D1vui9so6WB6NCfPFOEgLfmQ?size=m

A woman dries mud cookies in the sun on the the roof of Fort Dimanche, once a prison, in Port-au-Prince,Thursday Nov. 29, 2007. Rising prices and food shortages threaten the nation's fragile stability, and the mud cookies, made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening, are one of very few options the poorest people have to stave off hunger. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest spectr

I read that article earlier... I wonder if it has something to do with america removing a democratically elected leader of a foreign country who we didn't like yet again...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very sad...

 

thats why when fools talk about "im in the ghetto and...ghetto this and ghetto that".....im like shut the fuck up....youre living like a king compared to some of these third world countries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest spectr
yeah

this is some fucked up shit

 

12oz relief fund?

 

more likely 12oz benefit show with art auction or some shit...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"well, we all got together and decided to take a break from peeing in butts to try and get some relief together for these poor people."

 

-12oz representative

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest spectr

well someone pm raven and tell him to set up a relief fund...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its crazy how we all sit at our computers and go to our jobs and go painting and take everything for granted when there are so many people in the world suffering

 

 

...wonder if it will ever get better??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we should just send them boxes of chocolate chip cookies with notes attached saying:

 

"Here. Eat these instead."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nah, theres always gonna be someone stepping on people like this. its how the world works, dont get me wrong i dont agree with it but while youre paying 7 bucks for a cup of premium coffee people are eating mud, fucking mud. i know realistically im not gonna change this shit anytime soon but it still gets to me. but whats just as fucked up is we have some people who dont eat mud who are dying of hunger and disease because they live on the streets of our nations biggest cities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest shai_hulud
we should just send them boxes of chocolate chip cookies with notes attached saying:

 

"Here. Eat these instead."

 

Even though this is a sad story, this made me laugh.

 

Not to knock down what is a good and noble idea, but in all likelihood any money that you sent to Haiti would NOT go to the people that needed it the most. My friend's wife did relief work there, and she said that the money and food aid her agency in France was sending and what she was actually receiving were WAY off...so, she did some investigating, and found out that the cops were the ones who were doing the skimming.

 

Short of hand delivering the aid there, it's probably not going to make it to the people who are eating mud.

 

Shit is sad. You'd think that the US would do something, but NOOOOOOO....we keep the people who fuck the country up in power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

im with shai.....unless you actually go to the country physically to help....the aid will get robbed by a higher up.

 

even in Africa...the chief of police and highger ups in politics will steal foreign aid...

 

it happens EVERWHERE, and all the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yea I was reading recently about aid not being able to reach parts of africa because of pirates on the coast of Sudan

 

As much as the west thinks its helping it isn't until the countries are in a stable condition to actually deliver the aid and aren't just paying lip service to the western nations breathing down their necks for human rights violations

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sometimes they steal foreign aid...like in the form of food (like sorghum or rice) and end up selling it to the people who need it for way more than its worth (which is free)...thus they turn food into a cash profit for themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Register for a 12ozProphet forum account or sign in to comment

You need to be a forum member in order to comment. Forum accounts are separate from shop accounts.

Create an account

Register to become a 12ozProphet forum member.

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×