Ever tasted mud pie?

The cultural channel on Swedish TV is enlightening compared to all the other pay TV channels producing nothing but rubbish, or the constant gardening and/or cooking programs. We can learn how to make our gardens nicer and nicer, but most of us have little means of creating such gardens; we also learn how to make delicious meals, with which we can entertain our friends. But how many really make these dishes, which seem so easy on TV, but more difficult to make in reality.

The cultural channel recently showed a program about Haiti, and how poor people live and suffer on this tropical island. Water is completely polluted, there is little or no food, and people have no work. Rice is imported, and no longer planted, and food prices are horrendous. Children receive no or little education and grow up in shantytowns. On top of all this poverty, Haiti suffered a terrible earthquake in 2010.

Maybe it would be time to feature mud pies in these cooking programs, a dish that many people on Haiti are forced to eat? These mud pies are easy to make, and especially cheap if you have nothing else to eat. Just take some polluted water that is full of clay, sieve it or let the water evaporate and retain the clay. Add some sugar or salt, or a tiny amount of fat. You can then form cute little cupcake mud pies and dry them in the sun. Great food for the day, they fill you up, and are so very healthy! Maybe you could have your friends over for a mud pie party? Though, I would not recommend it, absolutely not. The nutrition value is zero, and stomach problems are only one of the consequences.

Ironically, when I searched for mud pie on the web, I got 2 million hits, and those on the first pages linked to gifts for babies, cookies, deserts, fashion, and even mud pie recipes, but these latter related to real deserts with chocolate and whipped cream. After the fourth page of all these heavenly things I gave up. Only one single link referred to the real Haitian mud pies: National Geographic News from 2008.

To find out more about mud eating, one has to search for ‘eating mud’, which does not sound as nice as mud pie! In science terms eating mud is called Geophagy. It is practised in many parts of the world, but often out of ignorance of what the clay contains; the clay not only contains bacteria, parasites and worms, but also loads of toxic elements!! Better not eat it! But if there is nothing else to eat, nothing at all, just the dirt in front of your little hut, what to do then?

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