(Screenshot, World Food Programme)

The health benefits of eating mud

Rethinking the myth that Haitians eat dirt to keep from starving


Lindsay Abrams
September 9, 2013 11:46PM (UTC)

If you believe everything you read about the food situation in Haiti, you could be forgiven for feeling a mixture of overwhelming pity and revulsion. For example, this 2008 headline from National Geographic: "Poor Haitians Resort to Eating Dirt." Or this 2009 variation from the Huffington Post: "Dirt Poor Haitians Eat Mud Cookies to Survive." Or, in a less formal take from a discussion forum: This is Really Sad!!!!!!! Haitians so hungry they eat dirt.

In truth, says the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), mud cakes, or what Haitians call "galette," aren't necessarily eaten as an act of desperation. True, they're not quite a delicacy. But the spirit in which they're consumed doesn't quite line up with the sentiments conveyed by most headlines. The WFP does some myth-busting:

Advertisement:


Lindsay Abrams

MORE FROM Lindsay AbramsFOLLOW readingirl

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Food Insecurity Haiti Hunger Poverty United Nations Video

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••






Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •