Thursday, October 7, 2010

Important Issues

I am told there exists a program to feed the poor:
SINCE its introduction in 1964, America’s food stamp program has helped millions of struggling Americans put food on their tables in difficult times. During the recent economic downturn, the number of people in New York City receiving this assistance has grown more than 35 percent.
This sounds like a fine program. How terrible that people need it, but it's good that it's there.
Recipients, however, aren’t allowed to buy everything a grocery store might sell. The federal government bars the use of food stamps to buy cigarettes, beer, wine, liquor or prepared foods like deli sandwiches and restaurant entrees. Still, the program, which is supposed to promote nutrition as well as reduce hunger, has a serious flaw: food stamps can be used to buy soda and other sweetened drinks.
Every year, tens of millions of federal dollars are spent on sweetened beverages in New York City through the food stamp program — far more than is spent on obesity prevention. This amounts to an enormous subsidy to the sweetened beverage industry.
Why is the ramen industry entitled to their subsidy?
To correct this, New York City and State are asking the United States Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program, to authorize a demonstration project in New York City. The city would bar the use of food stamps to buy beverages that contain more sugar than substance — that is, beverages with low nutritional value that contain more than 10 calories per eight-ounce serving. The policy would not apply to milk, milk substitutes (like soy milk, rice milk or powdered milk) or fruit juices without added sugar — and its effects would be rigorously evaluated.
I'm not a fan of the sugar-water industry [pause for glug-glugging] and there are health and cost rationales that I guess a bureaucrat should look at because it's their job - and that's what these guys are doing - but the poor should be able to get a treat now and then. On the bright side if the line is drawn according to to the caloric limit then the aspartame industry retains its subsidy. No doubt the folks in charge of the diet brands of the bottling industry will receive hefty bonuses if a national plan follows the NYC proposal.


fish said...

that is, beverages with low nutritional value that contain more than 10 calories per eight-ounce serving.

Yet juice is excluded. Completely arbitrary.

First Bloomberg came for my transfats, now my Code Red Mountain Dew. What next? No Little Debbie Snack Cakes? That BASTARD!

Substance McGravitas said...

Watch Dr. Pepper up the quinine content.

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

There is no way this will stand. The only lobby more powerful than those d00ds what build them smart cruise missile launching stealth jet submarines is corn farmers.

This gets any traction at all, expect to see a bill next year mandating that anyone receiving food stamps must first bathe in a pool of high fructose corn syrup.

tigris said...

Don't care about soda, but why are deli sandwiches blocked? They're better than a lot of twinkie-type crap that is allowed.

Captcha: meroww. Purr.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

DKW, remember those butterflies on the orange sponge?

The flutterbye house curator on duty told me they used to used fancy mixes of real sugar and other ingredients.

But then they found out the butterflies like gatorade just as much (yep...HFCS), so that's what they put in there now.

mikey said...

I don't mind regulations like this at all. I'm all for a soda tax. Even though it's regressive, you have to raise revenues somewhere, and soda contributes no value - you cannot make the case it's any different than cigarettes other than it's somewhat less lethal.

They're called "Food Stamps" for what I would submit is a pretty good reason. They should be required to be redeemed for something that can arguably be described as "Food".

You cannot live on food stamps without money. You need money for shelter, clothing and transportation. You can make decisions about how you spend your limited cash resources - hell, we've all done that every damn day. But food stamps should provide food. It's a great program, and should be expanded, not contracted, but I have no problem with defining what is and what is not "food" under the program...

Kathleen said...

the poor should be made to suffer so they'll stop being poor.

Actually I think NYC should go whole hog and only allow food stamps to purchase organic foods and whole grains.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Food stamps do NOT apply to brains, and when the zombocalypse comes YOU BETTER BELIEVE we will take our revenge for this heinous discrimination.

Also, I have had little success in making iTunes accept food stamps. HATE

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

Yet juice is excluded. Completely arbitrary.

fish has problem with juice because he is an anti-semite.

Also, maybe the butterflies like Gatorade because it's FULL OF ELECTROLYTES!!!

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

why does fish hate Juses?

Brando said...

Don't knock a high fructose corn syrup bath until you've tried it. It's like going through the 2001 stargate, only when you come out the other side, you have diabetes.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Sounds more like going into the light in Poltergeist

Substance McGravitas said...

Jewesses chooses
The Jesus's juses

Smut Clyde said...

a high fructose corn syrup bath


mikey said...


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

But then they found out the butterflies like gatorade just as much (yep...HFCS), so that's what they put in there now.

I've had it with those shiftless butterflies sucking on the government teat... uh... nectary.


Damn nanny-staters made it so one can't buy mellified mummy with food stamps, either!

Anonymous said...

No restrictions on thujone.

fish said...

that anyone receiving food stamps must first bathe in a pool of high fructose corn syrup.

It's called corn sugar now. And if you persist in calling it high fructose corn syrup, you will be hearing from our lawyers.