Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mud Pies in Soleil

The incidence of childhood obesity is rapidly rising throughout the resource-rich world.

In just two decades, the prevalence of overweight doubled for U.S. children ages 6 to 11--and tripled for American teenagers. About one-third of U.S. children are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. In total, about 25 million U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or nearly overweight.

The obesity epidemic is evident in the United States just 90 minutes from where there is no childhood obesity epidemic. Haiti is not plagued with this problem.

The mud pies above are baking in the sun in Cite Soleil. These mud pies will be consumed to quench hunger pains. The boy pictured on his homemade scooter, and his playmates in the slum of Soleil, should not have to depend on mud to calm their hunger.

Go to National FilmBoard of Canada website "Citizenshift" to see work done by photojournalist Darren Ell regarding many unjust circumstances for the people of Soleil.

Also, see this Miami Herald article and State of Denial on this blog.


Anonymous said...

Who ever wrote this on "Mud pies" should check their facts, Haitian do not eat mud pie to calm hunger, it is more a craving and most of the time,pregnant women only like to eat it and sometimes the children that eat it usually get it from thier pregnant mom. Haitian do not it this out of hunger, plus it is not regular mud, they get it from a special place, it's not the mud from the street.

John A. Carroll, M.D. said...

Dear Anonymous,

I wrote this post.

The mud pies are eaten to calm hunger. They help fill the stomach and calm the hunger pain.

Pregnant women around the world eat all sorts of odd material. There are different medical terms used to describe this behavior.

However, as you state, pregnant mothers feed this mud to their children...and the children are not pregnant. They are hungry. Non-pregnant adults in Soleil eat this mud also. I've seen it.

Next time you take a nibble of one of these delicious mud pies or offer one to your child or to a preganant relative of yours, let me know.

You are right that the people in Soleil have a craving...a craving to be treated like human beings.


Anonymous said...

If I want to get some help to Haiti what would be a good way to do this?

John A. Carroll, M.D. said...

Please e mail me and let me know what kind of help you would like to provide.



Ace Man said...

let me guess, you must be part of the haitain upperclass to obliviously ignore the realities of life around you. The women, children and families that eat this do it because they dont have another choice so its not a craving. this is how far starvation will take someone. The women and children dont like eating this but they do because they dont have anything else to eat. It doesnt matter where they get the dirt or mud its still dirt and mud and no one absolutely no one should be eating dirt. to call it a craving and to say its special mud is the statement of the most stupid, foolish, ignorant, and idiotic person to walk the earth. to ignore this type of suffering and pretend that it doesnt exist, to downplay this or that its not as bad as it seems is just ridiculous beyond reasoning. Some people need to get out of oz and out of their fantasy world and open their eyes to what is really going on in this world.

Anonymous said...

The Haitian students in my classroom when I taught in Miami, (recent immigrants who arrived in the boat lift of 92) used to eat the chalk from my blackboard. I was told it was a craving caused by lack of calcium. But this is something I experienced. They were all but starved when they arrived. said...

I would like to purchase a mud pie to try for myself, to see how edible it is, to find out what it tastes like. Would there be any way for me to obtain a mud pie or several from Haiti? This could also be a great way for some money to reach Haitians. They could export some of the pies they prepare to other parts of the world. Can you comment on this, or advise how I could best order a shipment of mud pies? Thanks. Contact me at my email address.

John A. Carroll, M.D. said...

Dear Random,

I think the best way for you to check out the mud pies would be to travel to Soleil. You will find many drying in the sun and I am sure the owner would allow you to try one. Then you could make up your own mind regarding buying more.


Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious said...

The poster of this article is mistaken. The mud they gather is from a clean healthy place, and the skin on these children attest to their health. It is not to fill an empty stomach because they have nothing else to eat. Mud contains vital nutrients and minerals.

When I was a child it was common place to see pregnant women and children who had regular meals every day eating mud. Their children were born healthy and strong and their skin was amazingly clear.

Clean, nutritious, mineral filled mud is delicious, filling and a healthy additive to a good diet.

Now, let's see who goes into those separate places and destroys the mud with chemicals, urine and debri because they think mud filled with quality ingredients we are supposed to find in our daily foods is not what these people should be eating.

Is the mud a healthy additive to the diet? Look at the skin of these people. Healthy skin. Look at the teeth of one of the children someone dared to use as an example of a child that eats the wrong thing to fill them up. The condition of teeth and skin are a real indicator of whether or not a diet is a healthy one.

John A. Carroll, M.D. said...

Dear Readers,

I posted the above comment to illustrate how someone can rationalize Haitians eating dirt.

Dr. John

Anonymous said...

I would just like to say that based on reading various articles on Haitian mud pies/cookies, this is what I gathered. Yes, the Haitian women in the slums used to eat these mud pies (mixed with salt and butter for at least some semblance of nutrition) when they're pregnant. For lack of "real" nutrition, they believed that this would at least help the baby somehow. But NOW a lot of people there are eating them because of food shortages (rising food costs etc). It's no longer just for pregnant women, and these people are eating them to stave off hunger. They really ARE starving...