Unable to afford food, poor people in Haiti resorted to eating mud cookies made from dried yellow dirt.

Merchants truck the dirt from the central town of Hinche to the La Saline market, a maze of tables of vegetables and meat swarming with flies. Women buy the dirt, then process it into mud cookies in places such as Fort Dimanche, a nearby shanty town.

Carrying buckets of dirt and water up ladders to the roof of the former prison for which the slum is named, they strain out rocks and
clumps on a sheet, and stir in shortening and salt. Then they pat the mixture into mud cookies and leave them to dry under the scorching sun.

The finished cookies are carried in buckets to markets or sold on the streets.

The pale brown biscuits, known by locals simply as "terre", have traditionally been eaten by pregnant Haitians and children as an antacid and source of calcium.

However, for some Haitians unable to afford even a plate of rice, terre has become their staple diet.


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