Just a warning…this Fit Friday Find is a little more controversial than the rest. But, it’s an issue that’s very important to me, and once I read this, I had to share!
This week’s Fit Friday Find is “The Fabulous Food Stamp Diet,” a blog post from Sally over at Real Mom Nutrition. She begins by pointing out comments from Fox News’ Andrea Tantaros, who recently commented about Newark Mayor Corey Booker’s pledge to eat on budget similar to those on the SNAP (food stamps) program. Tantaros claimed that she would be “so skinny” if she went on food stamps.
The comment was clearly ignorant, but that’s not what this post is about.
It’s about the availability — or lack thereof — of healthy, wholesome foods when a family is on a government program. When you have a limited amount of money to feed a family of four, you sure aren’t spending your time on the “outside” of the store, browsing the produce, fresh milk, and lean meats. You can’t justify spending $10 on enough apples for your family for the week when you can spend $3 on a large jar of applesauce that’ll feed your family for the week. You can’t justify $3.50 for a loaf of fresh, whole grain bread when you can buy a king loaf of white bread for $1.19. You can’t justify spending $8 for a block of fresh, low-fat cheddar cheese and whole wheat noodles when you can spend $0.85 for a box of Kraft…you get the idea.
Would a voucher problem fix the issue? Should you give families a voucher that can only be spent on fresh produce or lean meats, similar to the restrictions on the WIC program, in addition to their food stamp money? In theory, it sounds great. In reality, it sounds like a lot of politicians claiming that’s too much “big government,” telling people what they can and cannot buy. In reality, it sounds like a lot of extra money for the government to shell out, only increasing the government deficit.
Would an educational program fix the issue? Should you provide families with lessons on how to choose healthy options on a budget and show them how to make those choices on their own? In theory, it sounds great. In reality, it sounds like a lot of time and administrative effort that would require more money and more attention than the government may be willing to give.
Then again, what’s the price on health?