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Reality check of the day

with 2 comments

From the 4/18 New York Times:

In Haiti, where three-quarters of the population earns less than $2 a day and one in five children is chronically malnourished, the one business booming amid all the gloom is the selling of patties made of mud, oil and sugar, typically consumed only by the most destitute.

“It’s salty and it has butter and you don’t know you’re eating dirt,” said Olwich Louis Jeune, 24, who has taken to eating them more often in recent months. “It makes your stomach quiet down.”

An isolated incident?  Lindsey‘s got a front-line look at what’s going on the Philippines:

“…Reports from the UN state that about 57 percent of Filipino households don’t get enough food daily.  Logic says that the number of families without enough to eat will only escalate now that their main staple [rice] is increasingly more expensive.  Specifically, the cost of rice has gone up 50 percent in the last two months, doubling since 2004.  Experts say it could rise an additional 40 percent.”

$4 gas a problem?  Depends.  Does it mean giving up going out to eat, or eating at all? 

Written by Jen Szymanski

April 29, 2008 at 5:13 pm

2 Responses

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  1. It’s good to know someone is addressing this. It’s all one disgusting free market. As the cost of gas rises globally, Americans may find their vacations shortened and people on the other side of things (like Haiti, like the Philippines) will see their food, that they already don’t get enough of, escalate in price until they’re eating dirt or their children are working as prostitutes. And as for those in the Philippines who rely on gas to make a living (cab drivers, tricycle drivers, jeepney drivers) well…

    Last week I was taking a cab home (which I don’t often do) as the hour was very late and I was traveling alone. The cab driver kept nodding off. “Kuya,” I said, trying to keep him awake as much as gain insight. “How many hours have you been driving the cab?”
    He glanced at the dashboard clock. “Since seven this morning,” he said. It was 10 at night.
    “Can’t you go home?” I asked.
    He replied that he hadn’t met his quota yet, meaning he hadn’t made enough money to pay the car’s owner for its use that day, as well as covering the cost of gas. After 15 hours of work, he still had yet to break even.


    May 2, 2008 at 8:12 am

  2. While I like to (perhaps incorrectly) consider myself to be more enlightened than the person complaining about $4 for a gallon of gas after just paying $1 for a 20-ounce bottle of water (≈6.40/gallon), articles like this make me feel like a disgusting glutton.


    May 31, 2008 at 5:43 pm

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