I do wonder sometimes, I really do. Certain activists, here it’s Mark Bittman, really do seem to have their heads up their arses.
But the reality is that some billions of SNAP dollars (exact figures are unavailable, but the number most experts use is four) are being spent on soda, which is strictly speaking not food, and certainly not a nutritious substance, and is a leading cause of obesity. Seven percent of our calories come from sugar-sweetened beverages, none of them doing any of us any good.
A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Each one is equally as nutritious as another.
It’s entirely true that mere calories do not a healthy and balanced diet make. But the calorie you get from a soda pop is just the same as the one you get from a turnip. Anyone claiming different is simply lying.
But that’s not all folks!
Simultaneously, make it easier to buy real food; several cities, including New York, have programs that double the value of food stamps when used for purchases at farmers markets. The next step is to similarly increase the spending power of food stamps when they’re used to buy fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, not just in farmers markets but in supermarkets – indeed, everywhere people buy food.
SNAP (ie, food stamps) currently costs $80 billion a year. This bright spark’s idea to beat obesity among the poor is to double the size of the program. Double the budget the poor have available to spend on food.
Doesn’t make sense, does it? Especially when you consider that legumes and veggies and grains are actually cheaper than the junk food they shouldn’t apparently be buying.