Haitians Turn to Mud Cakes to Fill Empty Bellies

Food price hikes push everything but dirt out of reach for Haiti's poor
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2008 6:08 AM CDT
People line-up to receive food from U.N. Brazilian peacekeepers in Cite-Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Tuesday, May 27, 2008.    (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
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(Newser) – Impoverished Haitians have been reduced to living off mud cakes, the Guardian reports. The cakes of clay and water—long eaten by poor pregnant women seeking calcium—are increasingly the only food many families can afford. The global fuel and food crisis has hit Haiti, and half the population is malnourished.

Haiti relies on imports for almost all of its food. In a country where two-thirds of the people live on less than a dollar a day, food price hikes have pushed an already poor population to the verge of starvation and rioting. "It stops the hunger," said one woman baking mud cakes to sell for 3 cents each. "You eat them when you have to."