Wednesday, March 12, 2008

When a nursing mother can eat only mud

I have a confession. For almost a year, I've immersed myself in readings about extreme poverty and theories of how to combat it. I've written a lot of my own, too. I confess...I am becoming somewhat desensitized to the hardship. Sometimes, as an advocate, I find myself skimming past the already familiar stories and statistics looking for material to respond to and use to raise awareness effectively. But this story I saw on breadblog.org stopped me in my tracks. I write today with tears in my eyes.

We know that millions are living on less than $1 a day. We know that worldwide food prices are rising. We know that people already on the edge will bear the brunt of food shortage. And we know many will not survive. But what will happen when they try to survive? How will mothers try to feed their children when there is nothing to eat?

They will eat mud.

In Haiti, the very poor are resorting to mud pies to fill their stomachs with whatever they can. The mud is rich in calcium and has been known to be consumed for its properties as an antacid. But a 16 yr old mother with a 1 month old son is eating mud as a regular meal several times a day despite the stomach pains it gives her. It's a desperate act and a direct result of rising food prices and food shortages.

Here you can see the msnbc story about this horrendous phenomenon.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22902512/

And now that you know, you can take action. You can contact your senators and urge them to pass the Global Poverty Act (S 2433) which will make achieving the first Millennium Development Goal (reducing extreme poverty in half by 2015) a matter of US foreign policy. Make your voice heard and tell your elected officials that it is unacceptable that our brothers and sisters are literally eating dirt while we feast.

1 comment:

Tom said...

This is a very moving article!
I don't understand...if that moves everybody, why is anyone doing anything?

More over here are some reasons that force people to eat mud:

Rising meat consumption in emerging countries (China, India…) requires great amount of grains to feed the cattle.
The use of alimentary goods in the making of biofuels
Climatic conditions
The rise in petrol price increases the transportation cost of agricultural products.