Join 3,514 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Tax Soda, Subsidize Veggies
July 24, 2011 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Subsidizing Healthy Foods by Taxing Unhealthy Foods. Mark Bitman proposes a "national program that would make progress on a half-dozen problems at once — disease, budget, health care, environment, food access and more — while paying for itself." [NYT]

Simply put: taxes would reduce consumption of unhealthful foods and generate billions of dollars annually. That money could be used to subsidize the purchase of staple foods like seasonal greens, vegetables, whole grains, dried legumes and fruit.

...

Other countries are considering or have already started programs to tax foods with negative effects on health. Denmark’s saturated-fat tax is going into effect Oct. 1, and Romania passed (and then un-passed) something similar; earlier this month, a French minister raised the idea of tripling the value added tax on soda. Meanwhile, Hungary is proposing a new tax on foods with “too much” sugar, salt or fat, while increasing taxes on liquor and soft drinks, all to pay for state-financed health care; and Brazil’s Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) program features subsidized produce markets and state-sponsored low-cost restaurants.
posted by modernnomad (103 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Given the debate over the role of fat in diet, such a tax would be questionable. Obviously some fats like transfat are no brainers, and should be banned, as already happened in my county.

Health care costs around the developed world threaten to bankrupt countries, already are bankrupting them, so plans like this will eventually pass. Or the Russia method let life expectancy drop.
posted by stbalbach at 9:38 AM on July 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Will the nanny state tax staying up too late and not brushing my teeth as well?
posted by elektrotechnicus at 9:41 AM on July 24, 2011 [19 favorites]


Why don't we just cut out the middleman here and tax the poor for being poor?

Stick to writing cookbooks, Mr. Bittman. The consumpto-industrial complex is doing a fine job of fucking this up on their own.
posted by griphus at 9:43 AM on July 24, 2011 [20 favorites]


Will the nanny state tax staying up too late and not brushing my teeth as well?

I hope so. It looks like you still need to grow up.
posted by notion at 9:44 AM on July 24, 2011 [44 favorites]


Tax the Money-Givers (the new term for the poor). Why are they poor? They gave all their money to the Job and Product Creators in order to eat and live poorly. The worst food for health is usually the cheapest; highly processed, questionable fats, trans fats, and soda. The companies that make cheap, junk food, will be all over congress like oil lobbyists, when their cheap food prices rise, due to taxation. These Job and Product Creators in the food industry count on the Money Takers to float their Untaxed Yacht Boats.
posted by Oyéah at 9:44 AM on July 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


I don't always buy the "bad food is cheaper" rhetoric. Every morning, my amazingly unhealthy coworker buys a bottle of soda and Hostess brand something from CVS for let's say, $2.50 total. I make a pot of coffee ($10/lb fancy shit, spread out over 2-3 weeks), and have a small bowl of cereal ($3-$4/box, spread out over about a week). Maybe a banana. Who's paying more for food?
posted by hafehd at 9:48 AM on July 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


Twilight of the neo-liberals...
posted by ennui.bz at 9:50 AM on July 24, 2011


No.
posted by zennie at 9:53 AM on July 24, 2011


Acquiring the raw materials to cook for yourself may be cheaper than fast food, but fast food also provides a clean kitchen, and does the cooking for you. Some things which may be "duh" moments for us, but many people don't have access to those resources.

I am afraid to see what type of form this tax would take on, if its just solely on nutrition (being the huge influence corn growers and mega agribusiness has on the definition of what is healthy nutrition) then I would have some serious problems vs taxes on industrial food businesses and mega farms, while providing subsidies to local farms that encourage diversity of products and sustainable agriculture.

Of course, we could also just collect the billions of dollars in taxes that we are currently letting those businesses get away with not paying due to tax loop holes and off shore business addresses, etc. No need to start regulating consumption just yet.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:55 AM on July 24, 2011 [15 favorites]


Poor article.

1. Very sparse on details. When you are trying to solve a problem, you need a who. So who is going to pass this law? Individual cities, states, countries? They mention liquor stores stocking fresh vegetables. There is no way this will happen without a subsidy or law.

2. It's also paternalism, the exasperated form that happens when there isn't the political will be ban something, but a decent sized minority really really really doesn't like what other people are doing. See also, abortion, smoking, pornography. It's cowardly, and seeks to create de facto bans instead of actually going through the political process and banning things you don't like.

3. We have experts who can figure out how “bad” a food should be to qualify

I've never seen anything like a universal agreement on what bad food is besides not-vegetables.

I don't always buy the "bad food is cheaper" rhetoric. Every morning, my amazingly unhealthy coworker buys a bottle of soda and Hostess brand something from CVS for let's say, $2.50 total. I make a pot of coffee ($10/lb fancy shit, spread out over 2-3 weeks), and have a small bowl of cereal ($3-$4/box, spread out over about a week). Maybe a banana. Who's paying more for food?

Yes, but you're both eating processed food. And many cereals would probably be taxed under the plan, given their sugar content. What isn't cheap are fresh veggies, heads of lettuce, things like that.
posted by zabuni at 9:59 AM on July 24, 2011 [8 favorites]



I hope they don't reassign Drambuie to the food category. You do realize 'they' have that kind of power.
posted by notreally at 10:00 AM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't always buy the "bad food is cheaper" rhetoric.

Didn't we JUST DO THIS?
posted by desjardins at 10:01 AM on July 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Excellent plan. The government has always had a super-accurate handle on what is and isn't nutritious. Not only that, but they've always maintained the highest standard of integrity in their totally professional relationships with lobbyists from industry.
posted by wrok at 10:06 AM on July 24, 2011 [30 favorites]


Processed white flour is cheaper than whole grain flour. White rolls, enriched white bread are cheaper than whole grain bread or rolls. Vegetables cost to refrigerate, and prepare. Organic vegetables are much more expensive than non-organic. Growing your own requires ground, water and some security. Fatty hamburger is cheaper than lower fat hamburger. White pasta is cheaper than whole grain, pasta.

Rhetoric is an way of using language, knowledge of dietetics is useful when discussing the relative values of foods. Shopping carefully, traveling to more than one store, or location to buy produce is also a luxury, when gas is expensive, and time is minimal due to multiple jobs, and child care responsibilities.

Maternal Money Receivers who are paid by their Home Creator Spouses, can possibly find the time and money for shopping and selection travel.
posted by Oyéah at 10:11 AM on July 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


Right, and the whole point of this is that you can TAX the shitty food to make the good food cheaper. Seems fine to me.
posted by Slinga at 10:15 AM on July 24, 2011


We should tax soda at least enough to get back all the subsidies we pumped into it. Sugar production is basically a government-funded enterprise and has been for a long time.
posted by Brian B. at 10:15 AM on July 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


Excellent plan. The government has always had a super-accurate handle on what is and isn't nutritious. Not only that, but they've always maintained the highest standard of integrity in their totally professional relationships with lobbyists from industry.

Yeah, that's pretty much the show-stopper there. Nobody, in or out of government, knows enough about nutrition to get this right.

But it's fun to imagine the re-engineering the food chemists at McDonald's would do to push Big Macs through a loophole that labels them healthy and untaxable.
posted by notyou at 10:16 AM on July 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


the whole point of this is that you can TAX the shitty food to make the good food cheaper.

Thus raising prices for everyone! Win-win! (You don't really think prices on healthy food will be reduced, do you? Why would they do that, when there will be increased demand?)
posted by desjardins at 10:29 AM on July 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Will the nanny state tax staying up too late and not brushing my teeth as well?
posted by elektrotechnicus at 9:41 AM on July 24 [2 favorites +] [!]


Or will they start subsidising your xbox and lynx deodorant? Who can tell?

More seriously, what Brian B. said. You could achieve the same effect by simply removing subsidies to corn producers. That'd raise the price of corn syrup, meat, and animal fat. It would reduce obesity and disease resulting from the consumption of feedlot animal protein. It would mean more money in government coffers - both from reduced spending and increased sales tax. It would rip the rug from under some of your more evil lobbyists and corrupt politicians/judges. And it would let a whole lot of folk all over the world return to the once profitable task of growing their own bloody corn.
posted by Ahab at 10:29 AM on July 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


Wouldn't a thorough reallocation of agricultural subsidies make more sense before jumping into extra tax programs? I know reducing corn subsidies would hurt Obama's export goals, but not flooding global markets with corn would probably reduce foreign terror threats and opium production as well as (somewhat) level the playing field at the supermarket. Let's try that, see how it goes, and then if we're still fat we can go from there. Oh, and I'm new here. Hi.
posted by jwhite1979 at 10:30 AM on July 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Bad food is easy. It comes in a package, it can be eaten almost immediately, and it is a recipe that has gone through literally hundreds of revisions until it tastes really, really good. And the food manufacturers know it:
My colleague Dan Hale at the University of Texas, San Antonio, tells me that down there they’ve got a “Texas-sized Big Gulp” — 60 ounces of Coca-Cola, a Snickers bar, and a bag of Doritos, all for $0.99. If you did that every day that’d be 112 pounds of fat per year.

What’s in Coke? Caffeine. What’s caffeine? A mild stimulant, right? It’s also a diuretic — it makes you pee. What else is in Coke? Salt — 55mg of sodium per can. It’s like drinking a pizza.

So what happens if you take-on sodium and lose water? You get thirstier. Why is there so much sugar in Coke? To hide the salt.

When was the last time you went to a Chinese restaurant and had sweet-n-sour pork? That’s half soy sauce — you wouldn’t eat that. Except the sugar plays a trick on your tongue. You can’t even tell it’s there.

Everybody remember New Coke? 1985? More salt. More caffeine. That’s the smoking gun. They know what they’re doing. That’s "The Coca-Cola Conspiracy."

--Robert H Lustig, (via)
Once a food manufacturer has the right recipe, they refine it again until it is consistent across millions of units. That means they have to used processed ingredients and weird petrochemical soups to make sure that even the color doesn't change.

It's quite easy to make money with highly processed food, because the food ends up in the same shape for the same box that can fit a certain amount on a pallet and be stored for so many months. Production can be easily ramped up or down -- there's no need to wait for a season, just scoop some more processed flour and corn syrup and dye into one end, and more product comes out of the other.

As a grocery store, you have the choice of betting on fresh fruit and vegetables that someone may or may not buy, or aisles upon aisles of shelf-stable boxes with a precise cost and brand recognition. Not to mention the existing network of aisle-cap advertising kickbacks. The grocery chains have decisions being made by people who live hundreds and thousands of miles from most of their stores, so there is little chance they will take the time to make deals with small, local farms, and they've put most of the "mom and pop" grocers out of business long ago.

So we have an institutional market problem that is somewhat accidental: natural, unprocessed fresh foods are just harder to commoditize, so they have been left behind. Since the health effects aren't immediate, there was no market response when all of this started. Like any market, it will ignore costs that are outside of its scope. The government's job used to be to recognize these shortfalls in our economic system, and adjust it for everyone's benefit. It was one of the paramount achievements of our democracy: our vote could override injustices perpetrated by the powerful on the poor.

Now it's dismissed as a "nanny state."

I can't remember where I heard it, but I agree: sometimes you have to sit back in awe when you confront the power of propaganda.
posted by notion at 10:31 AM on July 24, 2011 [61 favorites]


I just don't see how any of these ideas aren't making a poor person's life harder. Just having a bunch of healthy food in the house doesn't magically create the time to prepare it.

How about shifting corn subsidies directly to healthy-food-specific food stamps, which could be used to buy stuff that's quick and easy to prepare like those microwaveable frozen bags of veggies... not as good as fresh, but much quicker to prepare.

Now that corporations can spend as much as they want to on political issues, though, this conversation seems more pointless than ever.
posted by Huck500 at 10:31 AM on July 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


Scientific American: It's time to end the war on salt
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:32 AM on July 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


You're just saying that because you're a chocolate pickle.
posted by Ahab at 10:35 AM on July 24, 2011 [20 favorites]


I'm in favor of this plan, because it would subsidize my upper-middle-class locavore flexitarian diet.
posted by BrashTech at 10:36 AM on July 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


Sustainable Macriculture, a Mac a day keeps the doctor away. Utahans swill diet coke by the acre feet to get all that Prozac down, but the state doesn't want to overtax this beverage. Utah does grow a lot of food, and the local markets and roadside stands are loaded with goodness. Backyard gardens abound in Salt Lake City, and even the Historic Avenues District had to OK front yard cold frames for gardening. Grocers now have to compete with the cachet of farm fresh produce, and have farm style stands out front at many city stores. I watched a clerk literally count out the cherries that would fit on a WIC voucher. Many US citizens are still only a generation away from the farm, or agricultural occupation. An unhealthy percentage of family food budgets is spent on beer, and cigarettes. I would like to see the junk food out of school vending machines, and cafeterias. I would like to see the junk food taxes, if they ever materialize, spent on healthy school lunches.
posted by Oyéah at 10:38 AM on July 24, 2011


I know reducing corn subsidies would hurt Obama's export goals, but not flooding global markets with corn would probably reduce foreign terror threats and opium production as well as (somewhat) level the playing field at the supermarket

I doubt it, the last time corn prices spiked due to ethanol, they had food riots around the globe.
posted by zabuni at 10:41 AM on July 24, 2011


Money could be returned to communities for local spending on gyms, pools, jogging and bike trails; and for other activities at food distribution centers; for Meals on Wheels in those towns with a large elderly population, or for Head Start for those with more children; for supermarkets and farmers’ markets where needed. And more.

Guess what? We wouldn't need to tax the poor for buying Pepsi for these things if we were already properly taxing the fucking RICH.

I love Bittman's cook books, too, but his social policy is half-baked. (AHAHAHAHA, sorry)
posted by scody at 10:42 AM on July 24, 2011 [42 favorites]


I doubt it, the last time corn prices spiked due to ethanol, they had food riots around the globe.
Well yeah, but isn't there a difference between not subsidizing exports and basically putting the world's food supply in our gas tanks? I guess when you're starving it's hard to know the difference, but still.
posted by jwhite1979 at 10:44 AM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


We wouldn't need to tax the poor for buying Pepsi for these things if we were already properly taxing the fucking RICH.

We can close up the thread now - this is the motherfucking truth.
posted by desjardins at 10:46 AM on July 24, 2011 [25 favorites]


This assumes people are rational enough to shift there spending and that they can afford to do so as the price of healthy food probably won't go down (and if it does not quickly). I think something that subsidized healthy foods to the poor or allowed them easier access to it would help but raising the price of unhealthy food is only making healthier food cheaper in comparison. If people are really and truly not buying it now because its too expensive (rather than hard to get or time consuming to cook) then their habits probably won't change.

If Joe buys a coke every day at lunch its probably going to take a lot of tax to make him stop. Say that coke now cost 1.00 would he stop if he had to pay 1.50? Two dollars? I would bet he wouldn't and I would bet that people who don't have the access to organic, sustainable, or healthy food or the time, knowledge, space, or equipment to make and store healthier stuff would not switch over. They may only eat less healthy stuff to be able to afford the crap.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 10:51 AM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those whose first reaction to the proposal is to raise the tax flag might recall his argument that you're going to be paying MORE taxes if you let the subsidies (that's your taxes again) keep going to corporate sugar-and-fat slingers.

Health-related obesity costs are projected to reach $344 billion by 2018.
posted by ecourbanist at 10:54 AM on July 24, 2011


Surely no one could put forth a comprehensive solution to such a huge problem in a single article, and perhaps this is the wrong way to go about it entirely. On the other hand, there are some pretty huge agricultural subsidies going to corn, soybeans, etc. This is also state influence on what is grown and consumed in the US, and it seems like people are less interested in critiquing this as the actions of a nanny state. Bad nanny.
posted by snofoam at 10:54 AM on July 24, 2011


This is an awesome lecture about sugar.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 10:55 AM on July 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


I doubt it, the last time corn prices spiked due to ethanol, they had food riots around the globe.

Not discounting biofuels as a cause, but there were other factors in play..
posted by Ahab at 10:56 AM on July 24, 2011


If Joe buys a coke every day at lunch its probably going to take a lot of tax to make him stop. Say that coke now cost 1.00 would he stop if he had to pay 1.50? Two dollars?

Well, tax increases have been correlated with decreasing cigarette smoking. I would imagine this policy would have the desired effect to some degree.
posted by snofoam at 10:58 AM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had this idea years ago.

But I didn't have the foresight to write a NYT article about it. :)

Also, that is seriously an awesome lecture about sugar.
posted by jb at 11:08 AM on July 24, 2011


Every American thinks they're smarter than anyone else about nutrition and food. And every American is willfully blind about some part of nutritional science to the point they're willing to deny science because "the man" or "Big $foodstuff" is hiding the truth, man.

I've had people I deeply respect for their intelligence tell me utter crap about food -- and insist their way was the ONLY way to eat healthy/lose weight. And it's annoying, and it's sad.

There are two things I know about food in this country:

1. In the United States, calorie-dense foods are cheaper than nutrient-dense foods, thanks mostly to farm subsidies.

2. In the United States, there is a correlation between being fat and being poor, something you don't see in almost any other industrialized country.

Whether a tax would fix this inequity or not is open to discussion. But both these things are true. And until we address these issues while laying aside all the stupid crap people say about food, the crisis will continue. Denying it, burying your head in the ground while screaming "Big $foodstuff!" or "John Galt!" just keeps the status quo, where medical expenses are rising at an atrocious 15-20% a year, where Type II diabetes is nearly endemic, where kids are now starting to show signs of congestive heart failure.

But regardless, we need to stop with the anti-science about food. Please.
posted by dw at 11:10 AM on July 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


I don't always buy the "bad food is cheaper" rhetoric. Every morning, my amazingly unhealthy coworker buys a bottle of soda and Hostess brand something from CVS for let's say, $2.50 total. I make a pot of coffee ($10/lb fancy shit, spread out over 2-3 weeks), and have a small bowl of cereal ($3-$4/box, spread out over about a week). Maybe a banana. Who's paying more for food?
posted by hafehd at 12:48 PM on July 24 [4 favorites +] [!]


But if you didn't have enough time to eat breakfast at home, what would you eat?

Whenever I was hungry and didn't have food with me when I lived in the UK, my choices were a) an apple for 70p-£1, b) a sandwich for £1.30, or c) a candy bar for 35p. Which do you think I would have bought if I'd been a cash-strapped teenager? Even when shopping for groceries, a bag of greens would cost £1.20, and a package of 8 sausage rolls cost 99p.

In Toronto, if you want to get a snack or lunch on the run and you have less than $5 (as most poorer people do), your choices are largely sugar-based. I can get two sugary pastries for $1.75 in every subway station. But there are few places selling fruit or just plain bagels.
posted by jb at 11:15 AM on July 24, 2011


I am poor, yet I regularly pay $2.50 for a regular coffee, and then a shocking $4.50 for a chiller coffee, in the Summer. I still buy fresh food, I am still obese, I am still poor. I usually make my own coffee, I almost always prepare my own food. I was in a Mexican Market down near State Street, yesterday. Families with children were buying mass quantities of sugar for said children, case lots of Fanta, cookies, and fried ring style chips. The whole scene was a home run for high empty carbohydrate foods. Me I was shopping for the elusive Cucumber/Chili Pepper Popsicle, came up empty handed on that quest. It cost me more in gas to go there than the frozen treat did.

Yeah. You can sing to any one of a number of choirs on these issues. Here try this on: $1,600,000 per Tomahawk missile. 44 families of 8, living at the poverty line could live on one of these for a year, 44 new teachers could be paid. We have created a society that values blind accumulation of wealth, and death, over life, while affirming life by limiting health care to the poor, and complaining about the rising cost of their rising obesity, caused from the stress of being poor, coupled with seeking the sweetness of life for themselves and their children.
posted by Oyéah at 11:24 AM on July 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


Yay, it's fun to punish the poor! What they need is fewer choices, less autonomy, more interference and the dignity of knowing somebody else always knows better how to run their life.

What, tax wealthy corporations instead of making poor people suffer all the consequences? Hilarious.

Honestly, Bittman's cookbooks suck anyway. So bland.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:34 AM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Denying it, burying your head in the ground while screaming "Big $foodstuff!" or "John Galt!" just keeps the status quo, where medical expenses are rising at an atrocious 15-20% a year, where Type II diabetes is nearly endemic, where kids are now starting to show signs of congestive heart failure.

I organized a public health fair last winter and the NYC health department focused on sugary beverages. Their table had a really effective demonstration: they had several bottles and cans set out, participants pick a beverage and see how many grams of sugar are in it. To change grams into something easier to understand divide by four and, among friends, that's about close to a deli spoon full of sugar. Participants spoon out the amount of sugar into a cup to visualize the amount of sugar.

I tell you, if anyone ever spooned as much sugar as a Coke into my coffee I would jump across the counter and slap them. I think because sodas are liquid people don't realize how much sugar is in them. It's really really disgusting.
posted by fuq at 11:35 AM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Any tax on any food is silly if we don't first address subsidies. Otherwise, we are turning food into health care- making the financial end of it as opaque as possible.

Personally, I'd be fine with a plan that eliminated all farm subsidies and instead took that money and expanded SNAP, WIC, Summer EBT for Children, etc. (decreasing eligibility threshold and increase benefit amounts) and then made card readers available at cost to farmers- and made it explicitly legal for nutrition benefits to be used directly at farms. That way, we'd be subsidizing people instead of corporations, and there would be less of a financial incentive to manufacture foods comprised primarily of hydrogenated vegetable oil and simple carbohydrate.
posted by Leta at 11:37 AM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I met a number of farmers, signing up people for the Utah's Own project. A high number of these farmers were teachers by day, and farmers as their extra job. Growing a flatbed truck full of onions, is hard, low paying work. I would like to see small local farmers subsidized, so they can provide fresh local produce. But it is a Rube Goldberg of a deal. While taking students through the largest produce wholesaler in Utah, the manager told us that local produce was too hard to chill fast enough to sell in local markets. He was talking about peaches, but also about other items. The wholesaler counts on cold, boxed, product coming to and going out of his warehouses, and the system discourages local produce in big chain grocery stores. I found that interesting, and worrying. But looking at the huge amount of product moving through the warehouse, I would see how local producers of anything but onions, beets, and potatoes, have to push their product through little local stands, and markets.

Local farmers are also having a hard time finding workers to pick fruit. I suggested to one of them they employ high school athletic teams, who also would get a certain amount of the produce for resale to sponsor teams. They laughed at me and said to my daughter, "No offense but, white kids won't work, and third generation Latino kids won't pick fruit either." The study of food production should be mandatory in K-12 schools.

The increasing video version of life, honor, and challenge, is separating all of us from the realities of both food production, and consumption. How many of you Mefites, have sat in front of a computer chatting it up, while barely tasting the meal in front of you? Our children are being totally tricked into ignoring the beauty, flavor, etc of anything that isn't on a view screen.
posted by Oyéah at 11:51 AM on July 24, 2011


"We have created a society that values blind accumulation of wealth, and death, over life, while affirming life by limiting health care to the poor, and complaining about the rising cost of their rising obesity, caused from the stress of being poor, coupled with seeking the sweetness of life for themselves and their children."

Would might think I were kidding when I say that gave me little tears, but I am not. Or maybe it's the heat. One more day to air conditioner fix-- and then I will get back to making normal non-emotional comments like I usually do.

(...............uh...)

I really do want to make healthy meals feel more accessible to the poor, but I think we do have to address that time and energy for cooking are comparable obstacles to actual access to healthy food. I think perhaps some method of encouraging more social meals together, and helping people with cooking---

I think the reality is that there used to be more people who stayed at home and did chores and cooked, and instead of microwaves, the wealthier had servants. I think it may have been lame and I'm thankful that women are no longer expected to automatically bear this burden. I do think we misunderstood exactly how much people who stayed at home and cooked and cleaned, did chores, minded the children, cared for the elderly, volunteered for charity and were involved in community projects, planning family and social events within social groups, supporting family members who were struggling etc: were doing for families and society. Love feels different when it is given without being attached to a "job" and now we want every form of giving and interaction to be given a financial presence. You don't go to your family with your overwhelming grief, you go to your therapist-- SOMEONE PAID to care. You don't try to deal with the complication of dealing with a womans emotional self to get sex, you just pay and get what you want on porn or in other services. You don't offer to cook for someone who is facing life struggles-- you tell them they need to fix their codependent self and go to more therapy until they are completely self reliant... You don't stand by people when it's tough to stand by them-- that's not your job. That's social worker/mental health worker's job. And whose job is it to love people when it's hard? We tend to want to shuffle that on workers too and the kind of love that generates the best security and genuine feelings of health and well being doesn't fit into that transactional model the same way.


I feel like I had a better point than this... lol. So um, yeah.
posted by xarnop at 11:51 AM on July 24, 2011 [14 favorites]


This is an awesome lecture about sugar
and here is some criticism about it.
posted by davar at 11:54 AM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think because sodas are liquid people don't realize how much sugar is in them. It's really really disgusting.

Just for kicks, I was reading the back of a box of corn starch this morning because it had a recipe for "Asian Stir Fry Sauce," and I was curious about what a box of corn starch would think about Asian cuisine. The recipe makes 1-1/2 cups of sauce. 1/2 cup of that is corn syrup. In addition to the corn syrup, there are 3 tablespoons of brown sugar.

I cook a lot of Asian food for myself, using traditional recipes if I can get them. There can be a surprising amount of sugar in a lot of Asian dishes--the balance of sweetness and saltiness hides the intensity of both sometimes. But that is a hell of a lot of sugar.

We are so used to such sweet, sweet things that without the sweetness it tastes bland. You hear people who have given up soda try some months later and gag at the sweetness.

Cooking for myself has made a lot of processed foods simply unpalatable. The salt and sugar content of them can be overwhelming.

(Disclaimer: I have a massive sweet tooth and love soda. Sometimes I suck on sugarcubes. So.)
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:54 AM on July 24, 2011


It's crazy how when I was a kid, being poor meant you have homecooked everything, processed foods and McDonalds and Taco Bell were rare treats. Now it's "cheaper" to buy fast food and prepackaged junkfood? What happened?
posted by HMSSM at 12:24 PM on July 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Just keep your fucking hands off of my beer.
posted by Splunge at 12:26 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rather than subsidizing the production of unhealthful foods, we should turn the tables and tax things like soda, French fries, doughnuts and hyperprocessed snacks.

Changing agriculture subsidies like this is the legislative equivalent of creating single payer health care in this country.


Grrr.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:32 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've never seen anything like a universal agreement on what bad food is besides not-vegetables.

I'd agree it'd be a terrible idea to have a tax regime that's supposed to apply across the range of available foodstuffs. But you don't need universal agreement about every single kind of food in order to make helpful policy.

Sure, the jury is out about fats, taxing red meat would be a political nightmare, but is there anybody who doesn't believe that (a) significant amounts of refined sugar aren't good for you and (b) most of the country is consuming significant amounts of refined sugar (even if not everyone agrees that's what's likely driving the obesity/diabetes epidemic in this country)?

So, one option might be a tax based on the number of grams of refined sugar per serving. I might support something like that.

Or, better yet, aggressive de-subsidization of corn and sugar. I'm pretty sure that would do us a world of good in a lot of ways.

It doesn't have the be the IRS shaping the entire menu. Just target a few things that almost everybody does agree on.
posted by weston at 12:37 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Problem is not everyone agrees on what is unhealthy. I'm doing Keto, and as such eat lots and lots of animal products and treat carbs like poison. The research (and results) I've seen tell me this is a healthy diet. So, the way I see it, placing a high tax on animal fats would put a rather arbitrary buden on me.

Back in the 80s, people were all like FAT IS BAD, EAT AN OAT BRAN MUFFIN. So if we tax foods we think are "unhealthy" now, what happens when, 30 years from now, research says otherwise? Do we give the money back?
posted by Afroblanco at 12:49 PM on July 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


I've never seen anything like a universal agreement on what bad food is besides not-vegetables.

Vegetables have their own problems actually. They have anti-nutrients if not prepared correctly. Anti-nutrients are basically toxins and poisons plants have developed to avoid being eaten (by animals and insects). Anti-nutrients bind to other nutrients causing them not to be absorbed. That is why it's important to eat small amounts of a large variety of vegetables, and not large amounts of a few varieties. Vegetables are difficult to do correctly which is why most vegetarians have to work hard to maintain a healthy diet over the long term (short term it seems easy).
posted by stbalbach at 12:49 PM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


>I'm doing Keto

I've been thinking of doing it because of evidence it might help with nerve pain. The reasoning goes that Keto diet is normally used by epileptics to stop seizures, and the #1 drug used for nerve pain is neurontin which is an anti-seizure drug. No one knows why an anti-seizure drug stops nerve pain, but perhaps an anti-seizure diet can do the same. Keto has the added benefit of weight loss since your essentially starving cells of energy.
posted by stbalbach at 12:53 PM on July 24, 2011


I really do want to make healthy meals feel more accessible to the poor, but I think we do have to address that time and energy for cooking are comparable obstacles to actual access to healthy food. I think perhaps some method of encouraging more social meals together, and helping people with cooking---


For the LONGEST time, I've wondered why nobody starts a fast-food chain that specializes in healthy foods. Hell, they could start with just SALADS. They'd make a killing. I'm saying they should apply the same economics to healthy food that fast food chains apply to unhealthy food -- underpaid teenage workers, large advertising budgets, hell, they could even keep the drive-throughs. In places like the financial districts of NYC and SF I've seen healthy lunch places set up shop just selling salads, and have lines around the frigging block! Problem is, these places usually go whole-hog and try to get all-organic, locally grown fresh ingredients and all that happy shit. And don't get me wrong, that stuff is great, but it makes your prices go sky-high, and then the only people who can afford it are the people who work in the financial districts of NYC and SF. So make the ugly compromise. Start a chain that does everything McDonald's does, only have it serve healthy food instead of unhealthy food. I guarantee you'd make a fortune. If I had any interest at all in the foodservice business, this is what I'd do.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:12 PM on July 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sorry to be OT here, but stbalbach -- try it. My symptoms of neuropathy have drastically decreased in the two months I've been on a high-fat, minimal carbohydrate diet. Careful though -- the first couple weeks of ketosis sucks.
posted by sinnesloeschen at 2:03 PM on July 24, 2011


Could we make peace with Cuba, buy their sugar, and tax high fructose corn syrup?
posted by Cranberry at 2:05 PM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


CBS: A Business Insider survey says people in Plano spend twice as much on fast food as everyone else.

The survey of 100 of the largest U.S. cities put Plano in the number one spot.
--
But a survey recently published in The Daily Beast also says Plano is one of the top cities where people live longer.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:09 PM on July 24, 2011


It's crazy how when I was a kid, being poor meant you have homecooked everything, processed foods and McDonalds and Taco Bell were rare treats. Now it's "cheaper" to buy fast food and prepackaged junkfood? What happened?


One person can't make enough for another to stay at home and make food.

Start a chain that does everything McDonald's does, only have it serve healthy food instead of unhealthy food.

1) McD's does have salads, or not terribly bad quality.

2) A bad hamburger is mediocre, a bad salad is rancid. I used to think I didn't like salads and many vegetables, it took a move to California to realize that I don't like wilted, slightly spoiled vegetables. Slightly old McNuggets retain more of their flavor than slightly old lettuce. Combine that with the fact that freezing veggies makes them much less appetizing, and most standard fast food fare travels a hell of a lot better.

I will say if the future of healthy "fast" food is anything, it's Souplantation. Fresh food, low wages (I think) small plates. It's pretty hard to eat unhealthy there unless you're aiming for it. It's also as bland as airline food as to not offend picky eaters.
posted by zabuni at 2:13 PM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'll believe it when I see it. Right now we still have the right wing in a frenzy because Michelle Obama said kids should probably eat more fruits and vegetables.
posted by fishmasta at 2:14 PM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


The 'How to Cook Everything' iPhone app costs $4.99.
posted by box at 2:20 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


You hear people who have given up soda try some months later and gag at the sweetness.

I gave up soda two years ago, and not only can I not drink soda but I have to mix fruit juice at least 50/50 with water... I usually stick to water. The only candy I can eat is dark chocolate. Lots of foods like almonds and squash taste really sweet to me now. It's amazing how much sweetness we're used to.
posted by Huck500 at 2:26 PM on July 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


The 'How to Cook Everything' iPhone app costs $4.99.

*facepalm*
posted by notion at 2:29 PM on July 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


All the poor people have an iPhone.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:37 PM on July 24, 2011


When I got pneumonia, suddenly all sweet stuff tasted awful! Soda was my downfall before getting sick. I thought they had given me the diet swill because the 7-Up was so bitter. What I wanted was V-8 juice. Weirdly they did not have it at the hospital. Oh they had pudding. They had cake. What I wanted was chicken soup. I wanted boiled eggs.
The nice food lady came and said cheerfully, 'We have cake!' to which I replied 'NO CAKE!'
I am sure they thought I was weird. I lost some weight. I now have a 34 inch waist. I entered the hospital weighing around 170. Left weighing about 160. While I don't recommend being deathly I'll as a weight loss plan, I have to say I am not sorry to have smarter taste buds, or to weigh less.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:46 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking a lot about this topic, with this discussion and the last one, and other articles I've read. In my experience, many poor people live lives that are chaotic. In addition to being more expensive, eating whole foods is more risky and time-consuming than eating fast foods. Vegetables and fruits, raw meat, go rotten, and cooking doesn't always turn out. I have a stocked kitchen and utilities turned on and pans and cookbooks and produce, and I still make some less-than-fabulous meals. So there's an element of risk in addition to the expense and inconvenience.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 2:53 PM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


People develop their tastes in food very early in life, and as such are very good indicators of social class. Poor people will tend to prefer highly calorific foods that are inexpensive; those with more affluent backgrounds are brought up to prefer low calorific foods that are exotic or expensive. On the most basic level, there is a difference in the nutritional requirements of poor people and rich people; a manual labourer requires requires more calories in their diet than a sedentary bank manager.

When people talk about healthy foods, what they really mean is food that reflects a bourgeois upbringing. This is mostly because the middle class has dominated public life for the last few hundred years - as Gladys Knight sang, everyone wants to be bourgie bourgie. Showing a preference for foods that poor people prefer indicates a lower social status; showing an abhorrence for the sorts of foods poor people prefer, however, indicates a high social status (The Princess and the Pea).

That these class issues have become intertwined with the infant science of nutrition is not surprising. Nutrition is a very poorly understood field, and it's under a lot of pressure from quacks, bigots, big business and politicians to produce the 'right' results, which are generally in the form of a one-size-fits-all diagram telling you to eat more of whatever the richest lobbyist group wants you to eat.

All food is good, by definition. There are no bad foods, unless you count rocks and poison as foods. If it sustains your body it's good. A healthy *diet* contains a variety of foods, none of which, on it's own, should really be considered good or bad. It just depends upon what your body needs at that particular time. Arguments about whether or not a hamburger or whatever is 'good' for you are almost entirely meaningless.
posted by chrisgregory at 2:53 PM on July 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Afroblanco writes "For the LONGEST time, I've wondered why nobody starts a fast-food chain that specializes in healthy foods. Hell, they could start with just SALADS."

Subway has beat that drum pretty hard already.
posted by Mitheral at 3:03 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fast food places have salads, people don't want them.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:11 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


"For the LONGEST time, I've wondered why nobody starts a fast-food chain that specializes in healthy foods. Hell, they could start with just SALADS."

Couple years ago around here in East Tennessee there was a restaurant named "Tossed", specializing in salads. It went out of business in less than a year--could not compete with the likes of Taco Bell, McD's, Mimi's Cafe, Olive Garden and fast food BBQ joints.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 3:25 PM on July 24, 2011


I just worry that foods that are controversial in their health effects will get grouped into the sin tax. There is loads of controversy, for example, about saturated fat, as exemplified by Gary Taubes' books. Like Afroblanco, I have done well on a diet that is relatively high in saturated fat, leaning out and being able to go off my autoimmune meds without any increase in cholesterol.

Saturated fat is part of the sin tax in Denmark now and several other countries are considering adopting such a tax. It's easier to demonize a possibly harmless fat present in whole foods like coconut and grass-fed beef than to admit that the foods that are the issue here are processed foods that Notion mentioned, which are hyperpalatable and lead to pathological overeating.
posted by melissam at 3:28 PM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't see why healthy people should have to pay additional taxes on the rare occasions that they indulge in something unhealthy. Yes, on average they will pay less taxes on food because they eat less unhealthy food, and I understand the goal is to affect people's choices by going after their wallets based on the choices they make, but what does this accomplish that varying health insurance premiums based on obesity can't accomplish?
posted by gyc at 3:50 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not everybody has control over their diet related health issues, dude. Type 1 diabetics and celiacs come to mind. I am in great health, but not at all okay with any scheme that punishes people financially, through taxes or insurance premiums, for being in less than perfect health. I'll pay in more and be able to sleep at night, thanks.
posted by Leta at 3:55 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Screw this. I've got maybe 80 years on this rock, and maybe closer to 50. If I want to save some money by eating fast food it's nobody's business but my own. I have different priorites than health.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:11 PM on July 24, 2011


Afroblanco writes "For the LONGEST time, I've wondered why nobody starts a fast-food chain that specializes in healthy foods. Hell, they could start with just SALADS."

Salad Creations is pretty great. I've only ever seen them in college towns.

In my local paper today are an article about "food deserts" and a column about diabetes. Taxing the only foods available to millions of urban poor people is really missing the point.
posted by headnsouth at 4:12 PM on July 24, 2011


Sumo Salad?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:47 PM on July 24, 2011


If I want to save some money by eating fast food it's nobody's business but my own. I have different priorites than health.

Sure, but down the road when your national health service declares that they have other priorities than treating the illnesses you develop in middle age as a result, my guess is that you might just feel differently. Of course, they probably won't. Hopefully. And taxation on healthy and unhealthy alike will help to pay for your treatment, which is as it should be, perhaps.

I'm down with the rugged individualism thing and personal responsibility thing, definitely, but I am also aware that bad personal choices on a society-wide scale don't end well. Is government invention in some form -- taxation or otherwise -- the solution? Or education? Or somehow forcing food producers to be responsible? I don't know the answers to that.

But the problems are pretty clear, and (no pun intended) growing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:20 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm down with the rugged individualism thing and personal responsibility thing, definitely, but I am also aware that bad personal choices on a society-wide scale don't end well. Is government invention in some form -- taxation or otherwise -- the solution? Or education? Or somehow forcing food producers to be responsible? I don't know the answers to that.

I'm all for the nanny stat when it means free healthcare, but I'm worried about things like banning fast food ads.

OTOH, I only eat fast food as a last resort and only then because its cheap (and I'm in a place where I can't get cheap Chinese food or Thai). If it was more expensive, than I wouldn't even eat it as a last resort. But then I'd be fucked if I needed it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:27 PM on July 24, 2011


Here in Indianapolis there is a local chain of salad restaurants called "When Eddie Met Salad." I personally have never been, mostly because it is named "When Eddie Met Salad."
posted by Nedroid at 5:35 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm in favor of letting people make their own choices and in favor of single payer healthcare. I don't want to see any food banned, even fast food or sugary drinks, and I do want to help pay for the consequences of poor choices, even if I don't make them myself.

I'm not sure what that makes me, politically, but I don't think I can be alone in this.
posted by Leta at 6:06 PM on July 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Here's an Al Jazeera piece on obesity in America.... pretty good.
posted by Huck500 at 6:24 PM on July 24, 2011


I realized the other day why I don't eat much veggies and fruit any more. They taste terrible. They taste much worse than when I was a kid. The grab them before they are ripe and ship them half way across the world to save a few bucks has left us with shitty tasting food. So, older people think the younger generation is avoiding veggies because of bad food habits. These aren't our parents veggies.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:28 PM on July 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


SOmeone else already made my point far more eloquently, but I'm going to chime in anyway:

What we have here is a complicated problem. "Junk" food companies have billions of dollars to spend perfecting their recipes, convincing you that they're fat and salt and sugar-laden foods are good for you, are baseline normal products that are okay to consume as part of a normal diet.

Fruits, vegetables and healthy foods have no such advocates. Further, they're often more expensive. Consumers aren't incentivized to eat healthy, ever. The end result is what we see happening right now: Skyrocketing obesity rates. And while I am 100% in support of your right to become totally fat, it takes a larger cost on society as a whole.

Which is why I think we need a tax to like, to level the playing field and to incentive consumers to buy healthy foods. Because this is not a fair fight and it's clear that we're losing.
posted by GilloD at 7:24 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm all for the nanny stat when it means free healthcare, but I'm worried about things like banning fast food ads.

What makes you think that you can -- by which I mean, that your fellow taxpayers will allow you to -- have one without the other?
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:31 PM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well...I mean...the fact that Canada has fast food ads?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:34 PM on July 24, 2011


Australia has had taxed/untaxed = bad/good food since 2001. Healthy foods became generally more expensive.
posted by jacanj at 8:55 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


We do live in a nanny state.

Our nanny is spending billions of dollars to make sure we get lots of corn, soy, and wheat. Our nanny is making it more economic to eat poorly.

Since we already live in a nanny state, can we at least ask that nanny to make healthier food more accessible rather than helping Pepsi and McDonald's bottom line?
posted by munchingzombie at 9:32 PM on July 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


> 1. In the United States, calorie-dense foods are cheaper than nutrient-dense foods, thanks mostly to farm subsidies.

Really? This seems to be common knowledge in this thread, but as far as I can tell, subsidy levels are nowhere near high enough to really be the reason for the relative cheapness of junk food. For example, corn subsidies are on the order of $3-5 billion / year, while the U.S. corn industry claims a total crop value of $66 billion / year. That doesn't include the various processing, transportation, and retail costs that make up the rest of the consumer price.

I would posit that the low price of processed corn and soy products has at least as much to do with cheap fossil fuel and the absence of carbon tax.
posted by parudox at 10:47 PM on July 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Personally, I'd be fine with a plan that eliminated all farm subsidies and instead took that money and expanded SNAP, WIC, Summer EBT for Children, etc. (decreasing eligibility threshold and increase benefit amounts)

How about also increasing choice of product? I have personal, recent experience with WIC and was only allowed to buy, for example, 2% or less, ultra-pasteurized, homogenized, antibiotic and hormone-laden milk and conventionally-raised, non-free-range, non-cage-free, non-organic eggs. This is NOT about saving the gov money, either: I saw a two for one on organic milk and couldn't take advantage of it because of WIC rules. I also can't use WIC at the inexpensive produce market down the street, but I can at the overpriced grocery stores where things cost literally two or three times as much. Big corporations rule EVERY corner of American life, even to the point that they dictate what type of products (those produced in the cheapest, least healthful way possible by big companies!) one can use their WIC benefits on.
posted by parrot_person at 10:54 PM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am sensitive to the government trying to dictate our behaviors or whatever, but my grocery bill was $307 this weekend and while, to be fair, it did include a tremendous amount of booze, I do buy a lot of produce and this is the first time I have ever spent nearly that much money. Something has gotta change and I do not buy Doritos. Therefore: screw you, Frito-eaters.
posted by fusinski at 6:29 AM on July 25, 2011


I realized the other day why I don't eat much veggies and fruit any more. They taste terrible. They taste much worse than when I was a kid.

This is absolutely one of the greatest things about living here in Korea... the vast majority of produce (and meat, for that matter) is domestically grown, and it is frequently magnificent. Flavourful in the same way that I remember things tasting when I was young, before things went to shit.

Hah. How much of an old fart do I sound like these days?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:39 AM on July 25, 2011


Because I am old. And quite emphatically farty.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:40 AM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I realized the other day why I don't eat much veggies and fruit any more. They taste terrible. They taste much worse than when I was a kid. The grab them before they are ripe and ship them half way across the world to save a few bucks has left us with shitty tasting food.

This is exactly the reason why some people are locavores...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 AM on July 25, 2011


liquor stores stocking fresh vegetables

This actually just happened in my neighborhood:
Aided by a $10,000 federal stimulus grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wigen and several other people interested in helping low-income people secure healthful foods in neighborhoods served by convenience stores and not much else launched the Thurston County Healthy Retail Stores Project 16 months ago. [newspaper article]
It looks like it's been a bit of a rough start, but the once-a-week produce stand was a hit. Right now is probably the ideal time of year around here to make a go of it; there's so much good stuff in season!

(FWIW, WA state voters repealed a soda & candy tax last year. "the soda lobby [spent] $16.8 million vs. less than $500,000 on the other side.")
posted by epersonae at 9:08 AM on July 25, 2011


And what, screw you booze drinker? How does that even make sense?

(Not Booze-ist)
posted by Space Kitty at 1:00 PM on July 25, 2011


Beer is healthy, no high fructose corn syrup.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:24 PM on July 25, 2011


In SoCal, you can use EBT at fast food places. I was speechless.
posted by FuzzyVerde at 7:04 AM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Beer is healthy, no high fructose corn syrup.

Depends on what beer you drink. Lots of cheap beers contain corn syrup of one sort or another, either high-fructose or regular.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:17 AM on July 26, 2011


They use corn as an adjunct, but I'm not aware of use of actual corn syrup.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:05 PM on July 26, 2011


Liquid corn adjuncts = corn syrup. Wikipedia (I know) cites an old study claiming Miller Lite contains corn syrup.
posted by Mitheral at 10:04 PM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Miller Lite? I thought we were talking about beer...
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:16 PM on July 26, 2011


Here's an example: I stopped at Sprouts on the way home today to pick up stuff for dinner. (Sprouts is an upscale farmer's market, mostly organics, with some grocery items...like a scaled down Whole Foods.)

Now, to get to a store that carries organics, I generally have to travel a town over. No big deal, but I pass at least 20 restaurants and fast food places along the way...just saying. Today I was making a big veggie salad for dinner, so I got; spinach, green onions, carrots, cucumber, a summer squash, tomatoes, a cob of corn, a handful of shelling peas, and some other stuff for dinner later this week...but just the ingredients for the salad were $20.00.

To make the salad is a good 30 minutes of prep; roast and shell the corn, shell the peas, wash everything, chop, etc., plus making the dressing (in this case, a fig champagne vinaigrette which is really fast and easy)

So, for us to sit down and have an organic, locally grown, super healthy dinner, requires 30 minutes of travel, 30 minutes of prep, and about $20 in ingredients. And that's freaking salad, I mean, it doesn't get easier than salad. So, while it would cost about $30.00 to feed us at a fast food, or local diner, we would save an hour in gathering and preparing.

I have the luxury of being able to cook dinner most nights. But it's a luxury, from a time perspective. Taxing people for not being nutritionists with spare time on their hands is an absurd way to punish the poor.
posted by dejah420 at 5:54 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Study: Healthy eating is privilege of the rich
posted by scody at 4:19 PM on August 4, 2011


« Older The talks between President Obama and House Speake...  |  There's a growing movement to ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments