Chante, a woman, is 19 years old and very hungry. So is her baby. So many just like her wake up every day with one task uppermost in their minds — to find enough food for to stay alive.
Her solution is in the big clay bowl beside her. In the early morning hours, she carries heavy buckets of dirt and water up a ladder to reach a rooftop in her town of Fort Dimanche.
Once on the roof, she mixes together three simple ingredients: the dried yellow dirt, salt and vegetable shortening. She takes this mixture and forms round “cookies” that she lays out in the hot sun.
After the product dries, she walks to her local market to sell the cookies for five cents a piece — a more affordable price for most Haitians than the 60 cents charged these days for two cups of rice.
A dangerous choice.
Some people even believe the cookies are a good thing. According to recent news stories, pregnant women in Haiti initially created the cookies as an antacid and a source of calcium.
But Haitian doctors try unsuccessfully to warn people against eating them, as they can lead to severe malnutrition, intestinal distress and other harmful effects, particularly for nursing women.
Despite the potential harm, thousands of Haitians continue to buy and eat the cookies. The taste is chalky and salty, and once eaten, the cookies suck all the moisture out of the mouth and leave a dirt-covered tongue behind.
Can I actually eat Dirt Cookies? Dirt Cookies are 100% organic and edible. However they don’t taste very good.
Why don’t they taste good? They are not suppose to, they are representative of poverty in Haiti.
Are they exactly like the dirt cookies in Haiti? No, Haiti’s dirt cookies can cause serious illness.
Where does my donation go? It helps Bright Hope’s project in Haiti providing immediate food relief and micro-loan program for developing vegetable gardens.
What is included in my Dirt Cookie Package? Six Dirt Cookies and six information cards explaining the project. We hope you will display your Dirt Cookies and inform people of the needs and opportunities in Haiti.
When will I receive my Dirt Cookie Package? Within 3 weeks of ordering.
Why am I limited to one package per donation? This campaign is not about selling cookies, it is about collecting donations to help a program feed and promote self-sustaining activities.
Where can I get more information?
Call Bright Hope at 224.520.6100
Or email Aaron at Aaron.Subich@BrightHope.org