Dirt Cookies

“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….at about 5 cents apiece, the [dirt] cookies are a bargain compared with food staples. About 80 percent of people in Haiti live on less than $2 a day and a tiny elite controls the economy…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.”
“Haitians trick empty bellies with dirt cookies.” Jonathan M. Katz (AP). Boston Globe. January 31, 2008. Photo by Ariana Cubillos (AP).

To learn more about hunger, visit Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger or The Global FoodBanking Network.