On Eating Dirt

I am not in a grocery store very often and don’t compare prices anyway but even I have noticed the rise in food prices. For me that just means that I will buy less of something else (or better yet, eat at my parents) but in some areas these rising costs are really starting to bite. In Mexico back in December 70,000 protested the rise in corn prices. Apparently in Haiti the very poor are resorting to eating a ‘mud cake’ that is mixture of edible clay, shortening and salt.

At the market in the La Saline slum, two cups of rice now sell for 60 cents, up 10 cents from December and 50 percent from a year ago. Beans, condensed milk and fruit have gone up at a similar rate, and even the price of the edible clay has risen over the past year by almost $1.50. Dirt to make 100 cookies now costs $5, the cookie makers say.

Still, at about 5 cents apiece, the cookies are a bargain compared to food staples. About 80 percent of people in Haiti live on less than $2 a day and a tiny elite controls the economy. – MSNBC

I guess I wonder how much of that article is written for effect. I don’t doubt though, that people there are eating these mud pies for food and that is very sad…

And then there are those who pay to eat another kind of dirt. Coming to a cell phone near you…

Pornography has made inroads on cell phones in Europe, where it was a $775 million industry in 2007 that will grow to $1.5 billion by 2012, with the global market reaching $3.5 billion in 2010, according to Britain-based Juniper Research.

In comparison, North America generated just $26 million last year as carriers shied away from porn sales. Canada’s second-largest phone company, Telus Corp, for example, withdrew a mobile porn service last year after complaints from hundreds of customers and criticism from the Catholic Church.

Gartner telecoms analyst Michael King said he expects mobile porn to be more prevalent around 2009, when there will be more phones that can show high-quality graphics.

Porn is “one of the bigger pieces of Web revenue. You would assume the natural extension would be on mobile,” King said. – MSNBC

It is interesting that Telus was forced to withdraw their mobile porn service. Now I can add that to my list of reasons I don’t like Telus.

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