My Quiet Life My Quiet Life

food stamp strings

Via US Food Policy, I see that Michelle Holmes wants to attach some strings to the use of food stamps to limit their purchase of unhealthy food.

Is this ethical? What happens when the authorities are largely wrong about what might be causing an obesity crisis (for example, oh, I don’t know, let’s just say, hypothetically, the last 50 years of strict low-fat policy)?

What happens when someone disagrees with our health policy? Are they to be left their own devices to find food? This is a dangerous idea. Food policy should gravitate towards education, not mandate. People aren’t going to eat healthy by force – they need understand why they should be making an effort to be healthy, but they need to decide on their own terms what “healthy” means.

Also, the larger point being ignored here is that “food stamps are still buying soda pop, potato chips and deep-fried frozen dinners” not because people are stupid or ignorant. But rather, newsflash, junk food is infinitely cheaper than healthy food. So here’s a different idea: use food stamp policy to make healthy food cheaper. I am not really a policy/administrative wonk enough to provide a useful suggestion as to how to go about this. Suggestions?