Mud Cookies! Yum?
By Yumna Abbas

June 8, 2011

As children, we sometimes spend a summer afternoon making a cake or pie out of mud. We decorate it with pinecones, grass, stones and whatever else nature gives us. And then, after a long dayís work, we go home to our loved ones, where we enjoy a nice, hot meal that may sometimes be littered with vegetables that we feed to the dog when we think mom isnít looking our way. The idea of making mud cakes and mud pies is truly ridiculous, yet it is the very reality of the Haitians of Cite Soleil.
Most Haitians earn $1-$2 a day, which means that food, such as two cups of rice priced at $0.60, is a luxury many Haitians canít afford, leading many citizens of Cite Soleil to eat cookies made of mud. The recipe consists of vegetable shortening, salt and dirt. The cookies do not taste good, they are hard and can lead to many health complications, but they fill stomachs, so the hunger pangs arenít as bad as they would normally be.
A bag of dirt costs about $5 and makes about a hundred cookies, far more affordable than a cup of rice. As if the idea of mud cookies isnít bad enough, the women of Cite Soleil actually have to purchase the dirt. Women that donít have money buy dirt on credit. If it rains or the sun is blocked, the cookies may not dry out in time and women then end up owing money on their purchase of dirt. This twisted reality is a true testament to how ďprogressiveĒ mankind really is. Itís common knowledge that if the leaders of our world werenít in pursuit of their own miserly agendas, then maybe the world would be a better place. But we all know what kind of game politics is. Janet Sanderson, the United States ambassador to Haiti has taken members of congress down to Cite Soleil to show them what the Haitians endure. What does Sanderson and her fellow peers have to say on the matter ďwell itís worrisome and we donít like to see it.Ē Poor Sanderson, having to see people eat mud cookies, Iím glad she can fly back home to her high quality way of life.
It is absolutely pathetic that even though our leaders are well educated on the reality of Cite Soleil, they still are unable to make a change. Perhaps if they are at risk of losing their jobs, or their high paying salaries that they might choose to actually do their jobs so that they alone are not the only ones who can sleep well at night.


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