Mayor Bloomberg and Paterson have petitioned the useless and toothless USDA to exclude sodas and sugary drinks from the list of items that can be purchased with food stamps in New York. The balance on this is the fact that many farmers markets now take food stamps, as well as some places in the country actually giving up to 30% back to the buyer as incentive to purchase healthy foods. It is a forgotten fact it seems that food products like sodas and candy were once considered treats to be consumed on rare occasions, not at every meal. This video graphically portrays the effect of just one soda a day, and I do mean graphically.
Jaime Oliver also addresses in the clip below which is a 20 minute talk he gave when he accepted the TED award this year, the effect of sugary drinks and just how much sugar is not only in sodas but also in the flavored milk that the schools serve to our children. He goes a step further and says that what we are allowing to be served to our kids is akin to child abuse. Though a lot of the statistics he quotes are depressing, his overall point and a salient point is that almost all of the weight related diseases, health care costs, shortening of life spans and general misery is completely and totally avoidable. For a country founded by people distrustful and disheartened by their original governments, actively seeking out a way to have more control over their day to day lives we have quite quickly, over the last 30 years, handed over almost total control over the very thing that fuels our life, food, to a handful of companies whose single goal is to make as much money as possible. We have handed over so much of our control that fewer and fewer of us actually even know how to cook as many as 1-5. Even though our regulatory bodies are so entangled with the companies they are ‘overseeing’ to the degree that ex-employees of said companies often run the USDA, we can still change the food system in this country. The companies don’t care how they make money, they are just as happy to sell us good food as they are to sell us crap as long as they sell it. It’s up to us. As Jaime Oliver says in this clip more than once, “You can care and still be commercial.”
I love that even though California wasn’t able to get the state-wide tax on plastic bags pushed through, individual cities have gone ahead and done it, charging as much as a nickel per bag. Read the full article over at the fantastic treehugger.
- Bloomberg Says Soda Shouldn’t Be Purchased With Food Stamps (blogs.wsj.com)
- NY Seeks to Ban Sugary Drinks From Food Stamp Buys (abcnews.go.com)