5 years ago1,000+ Views
I put up a card yesterday showing the availability of Red Bull on food stamps. Lots of people (myself included) pointed out that Red Bull is a ridiculous thing for the government to be paying for. So I did some research into this, and it looks like this is a really ambiguous issue. There's a few key points on this: 1. Welfare shoppers get very little money so often need to buy high calorie foods (healthy foods like salad may not have the same punch). 2. Transaction costs if supermarkets have to sort through purchasers (cannot be ignored) 3. Low income neighborhoods may not have real supermarkets (which are replaced by mini stops). Convenience stores often don't have a healthy selection to choose from. All of this implies that it won't be easy to get food stamp shoppers to switch to healthy foods, and that legislating the change could easily backfire. However, the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) launched in 2011 which gives SNAP (State Nutritional Assistance Program) recipients a 30 percent discount for health foods. The results won't be clear until later this year.
really good point. I think this is where transaction costs come into play. vendors don't want to sort through a customers purchases
this may justify why welfare folks buy junk food like chips or instant foods; they're cheap and they fill you up. but with the possible exception of #2, the reasons still don't explain red bull. Red Bull doesn't fill you up and isn't cheap
Urban farms seem pretty inefficient. I think the cheapest foods being unhealthiest isn't really the problem. I mean rice and beans are much cheaper than chips in bulk but people just don't buy em
it's really unfortunate that the cheapest foods are also the unhealthiest, i think many of these questions/problems should be addressed to the food industry first. and yes another huge problem is the lack of grocery stores, and urban farms have been trying to tackle this issue
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