View Full Version : Poor Haitians Resort to Eating Dirt

02-13-2008, 07:13 AM
Port-Au-Prince, Haiti - (AP) - 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. They have come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country's central plateau.

The problem is particularly dire in the Caribbean, where island nations depend on imports and food prices are up 40 percent in places. Cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.

At the market in the La Saline slum, 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.

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.

Merchants truck the dirt 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.

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 who has studied geophagy, the scientific name for dirt-eating.



Seriously messed up, having to pay to eat dirt....

Edgar Erebus
02-13-2008, 07:27 AM
..... and I thought that old people scavenging for food in trash baskets up here is an awful sight.