With the mad rush towards Bio-Fuels the poor of the world are
Poor Haitians Resort to Eating Dirt
By JONATHAN M. KATZ – 23 hours 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
"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.
Let them eat dirt?
The price of food commodities are rising every
where. Have you noticed the cost of a box of cereal or a
loaf of bread? This is not due solely to the price of petroleum.
Exacerbating the situation is the amount of land taken out
of food production for bio-fuel crops.
Mr. President can you stop this madness! Are you dumb,
naive or in the pocket of ADM? You must know that
energy independence is a myth.
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