where trouble was needed

October 7, 2010

New York Asks to Bar Use of Food Stamps to Buy Sodas

Filed under: Letter to Editor — Aravinda @ 9:43 am
Tags: , ,

The New York Times

New York Asks to Bar Use of Food Stamps to Buy Sodas

By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS

Comment:

Mayor says: “This initiative will give New York families more money to spend on foods and drinks that provide real nourishment.”

It does not actually "give New York families more money to spend on foods and drinks that provide real nourishment.” One can hope that they will reallocate their budget, but there is so much we can do as a society to reallocate the budget that sets unhealthy food habits in motion.

No dispute that soda is unhealthy. Addictive, contributes to obesity, tooth decay, crowds out more healthy food choices. So are so many other junk foods. Why do the poor consume more of these? Not because they can pay with food stamps, but because they are cheap! Even if paid for in cash, they will still be cheaper than fruits and vegetables. Are there any food stamps that can ONLY be spent on real food?

Unfortunately the "foods and drinks that provide real nourishment" are all more expensive than the soft drinks. Why is that?

We should NOT be subsidizing edible-food like substances that substitute for it, or warring for cheap fuel required to truck it all over the country.

We should make real food more affordable, by supporting the farmers that grow it and the structures they need to get it to market. Can we provide food stamps that can be spent at the farmer’s market? We should pay living wages to farmworkers and others who work to bring real food to the table and maybe fewer people would require public assistance.

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