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The PJ Tatler

by
Stephen Kruiser

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December 6, 2013 - 8:31 pm

Buck and a half.

If you want to eat a more healthful diet, you’re going to have to shell out more cash, right? (After all, Whole Foods didn’t get the nickname “Whole Paycheck” for nothing.)

But until recently, that widely held bit of conventional wisdom hadn’t really been assessed in a rigorous, systematic way, says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health.

So he and his colleagues decided to pore over 27 studies from 10 different developed countries that looked at the retail prices of food grouped by healthfulness. Across these countries, it turns out, the cost difference between eating a healthful and unhealthful diet was pretty much the same: about $1.50 per day. And that price gap held true when they focused their research just on U.S. food prices, the researchers found in their meta-analysis of these studies.

As this is NPR, the discussion immediately gets around to finding ways for policymakers to get that extra $1.50 a day to low income people. It’s one of those classic liberal logic-free leaps: presuming that the money will be spent on healthy food.

Maybe it’s just a lack of budgeting that’s the problem, as this has been the recent trend in what supplemental food money is allowed to be spent on:
jack-in-the-box

Stephen Kruiser is a professional comedian and writer who has also been a conservative political activist for over two decades. A co-founder of the first Los Angeles Tea Party, Kruiser often speaks to grassroots groups around America and has had the great honor of traveling around the world entertaining U.S. troops.

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All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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Oh, feel superior all you want, but I've seen Ph.D. and other higher educated government workers buckle in the face of eating healthy vs eating tasty.

I worked a research vessel where some of the scientist mounted a progressive campaign to ban fried foods from the menu. To the point of one chief scientist issuing the cook a memo ordering no fried foods for the scientific party (The crew not under his dominion and with a decades old dietary requirements in the union agreement). Well, along comes a dinner of hamburgers et al, with fries for the crew. The cook refused the scientist the fried french fries. There were complaints, he was prepared with the memo. The memo was rescinded.

Nanny state fails without the backing of government violence. And in the face of freedom enjoyed by others.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's a thought: limit SNAP benefits to fresh fruit & veggies, bulk grain, cooking oil and unsweetened dairy.

Who will be the ones most strongly opposed to this albeit behind the scene? Well, just ask how much of a hit PepsiCo and Nabisco and Kraft et al will take if most of their products no longer become eligible for government EBT cards.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
We've been sending fruits/veggies, bulk grain, cooking oil and unsweetened dairy to Africa for decades and they are still starving. We need to send Africa some McDonalds, which is accused of being too tasty, too affordable and too readily available, and get those people in Africa fattened up.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Part of the problem is that we're exporting subsidized food to fundamentally agricultural societies in Africa. Our cheap food undercuts their local suppliers (i.e. their population). No ability to sell, no job. No job, no money to buy. No ability to buy, no food to eat. No food to eat = starving.

We see the same thing with cotton and textiles. As bad as our farm bills have been for the American economy, they have been much worse for Africa.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
You can give people more money, but you can't make them want to eat quinoa. The more you restrict what EBT can be spent on, the more of the funds will be redirect to criminals running black market programs. The less you restrict what EBT can be spent on, the less it resembles social engineering and the more it amplifies the quantity of consumption without altering the quality.

The fatal premise of using these programs to alter behavior is the idea that all the problems of the poor are the result of their exploitation by the rich. This denies the rational agency and inherent human nature of the poor and the rich alike.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
If D.C. were to limit EBT benefits to fresh ingredients, 99% of EBT recipients would starve. Money-management skills and home food-preparation skills seem to be disappearing at the same rate.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
The skills will be re-learned within a month.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who will the skills be learned from? Part of the problem is that we now have skill-deserts to match the food deserts. When families have been on food subsidy for two or three generations, and congregate in neighborhoods with similarly situated people, the grandparents and great grandparents who once knew how to cook have all died out.

It may seem like the internet is an easy place to find instruction, but it can be deceptively hard. It is similar to the goal of new-speak: if someone is deprived of the language to describe a concept, it is very difficult explain and learn about the concept.

I tried an experiment with my wife, an extremely smart and capable woman who knows very little about cooking, and found that she could not tell me how to prepare specific ingredients for specific situations even after having the process described to her. The problem: she didn't know the noun or verb for the action, without which she couldn't look up the concept.

18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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