We Bite Back

The Fat Tax
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Author:  Lizibitz [ Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:09 pm ]
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Author:  epic [ Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:53 pm ]
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Lizibitz wrote:
I disagree that healthy food is not available to people on a fixed income--I spend a lot less money on frozen vegetables and in season fruits than my family does on the junk foods. There is a definite perception that healthy food is too expensive, and some healthy food is too expensive. But there is enough for a well rounded diet that is affordable. Potatoes, in season grapes, bananas, frozen veggies, lentils, rice, pasta, canned tomato sauce,dried beans ... all extremely affordable. But I would have no problem with some kind of government sponsored campaign to teach how to use these foods, as some are not standard American diet foods.

Some thoughts on the difficulty of affording a healthy diet in today's economy for the poor:

http://www.naturalnews.com/026748_healt ... sease.html

http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/07 ... cardle.php


http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Diet/story ... 128&page=1

Author:  Lizibitz [ Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:08 am ]
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Author:  Lizibitz [ Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:17 am ]
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Author:  Rachelr [ Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:37 pm ]
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I disagree that healthy food is not available to people on a fixed income... There is a definite perception that healthy food is too expensive, and some healthy food is too expensive. But there is enough for a well rounded diet that is affordable.

I agree with you on the need for better nutrition education and of the importance of nutrition in academic performance, but I respectfully disagree with you on the cost of healthy foods versus less healthy foods. Several studies have indicated, that, on a per calorie basis, diets composed of whole grains, fish and fresh vegetables and fruit are far more expensive than refined grains, added sugars and added fats, which provide empty calories. See here, here and here.

Have you ever been to a grocery store located in a largely poor area? There's a reason these places are called food deserts. Even if the prices of healthy foods are comparable to less healthy foods, there still exists a widespread lack of accessibility to contend with. Take for instance the Kroger in the Over-the-Rhine section of Cincinnati, one of the city's poorest areas and one I am well familiar with. You will find maybe a couple stands of wilted produce and aisle after aisle of processed foods. You will also find many more fast food restaurants in low-income areas than you will farmer's markets. Let's say that you're on public assistance with limited food funds. Which would you buy: A 99-cent fast food burger that has nearly all food groups represented or a 99-cent green pepper that is representative of only one food group and not nearly as fulfilling?

And even if you do buy the healthy stuff, you still have the challenge of getting your kids to eat it. I heard an interview on NPR a while back with a food bank that provides meals to kids during the summer. The director said that when they served healthy vegetables and other foods, the kids wouldn’t eat it. When they served pizza or burgers, the kids clamored for it. I can see where an already frazzled single mother holding down two jobs might opt for mac and cheese instead of getting her kids to eat lentils. And while I am very much a personal proponent of healthy food, I also recognize that chips, ice cream and even candy in moderation can ALL be part of an overall healthy and balanced diet. Those of us with histories of eating disorders should be among the first to realize that de-personifying foods as "good" or "bad," as well as a refusal to measure our self-worth by the foods we eat, are integral steps in developing a healthy relationship with food.

I'm a food historian and I've worked with poverty groups in the past, so the issue of class and food is a frequent one on my blog. Here are a few experiments we've discussed:

The One Dollar Diet Project: High school social studies teachers Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard took this challenge for one month in order to raise money for a community center. Not only did they have count, measure, calculate and weigh every ingredient, they also suffered from a lack of energy even as their diet required even more of their time -- and that's without any children to complicate matters.

Healthy Food on a Food Stamp Budget: I issued this challenge to readers using a real-life scenario of a single-parent household with 2 - 3 children. After plugging in the numbers to the USDA's Food Stamp calculator tool, it was found that this hypothetical mother would receive $273 to $283 a month in food stamps or about $70 a week or $10 a day. Another blogger self-conducted a similar challenge, with the result being lots of beans and rice for dinner. Is it doable? Certainly. But not without lots and lots of planning, something a single mother usually lacks the time for.

In short, the problem with putting nutrition regulations on food stamps is that there are a lot of more pressing issues you'd have to confront and resolve before this could even be feasible.

Author:  Lizibitz [ Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:58 pm ]
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Author:  kereniya [ Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:58 am ]
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What are all the Income tax deductions in a Payroll from Philadelphia PA?
My husband is getting paid $12/hr this payroll gross was $918. The deductions are $278.40 (child support) and all the other taxes deductions. I see everything in order but they started also holding Philadelphia local Income tax for $88.04. I did know about Federal Income tax and PA income tax but this Philadelphia taxes I never herd of them and the withold amount is almost 3 times higher than the PA one. So he is only receiving $ $344.28 this payroll. Is this right?
marriage bureau

Author:  FadingHippie [ Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:24 am ]
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Because I do not see them ever getting away with taxing those participating in welfare via the food stamp program, I am inclined to agree with this taxation.

to go along with Rachelr... this recent study - link may not work since I'm on my mobile - let me know if it needs to be fixed (in.mobile.reuters.com/m/FullArticle/p.rdt/CHLTIN/nhealth_uINTRE57H4ZV20090818) -shows that BMI is on average 1.15 points higher for those on food stamps. So it's not drastically higher, but noticeably.

Author:  FadingHippie [ Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:28 am ]
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but out of curiosity rachelr... why $1 a day. My mother was a social worker for a long time, then switched to dep't of aging, and is now once again a social worker. She told me people on food stamps get $3 a day for food. Googling confirmed. $1
/day is clearly a third of that... which could make a large statistically significant difference.

Author:  Rachelr [ Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:40 am ]
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but out of curiosity rachelr... why $1 a day.

I had no part in that study, so I have no idea. Maybe they based it on food stamps rates in their neck of the woods?

Author:  poeticprincess88 [ Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:09 pm ]
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ultimately a soda tax isn't going to help cut down on obesity. In most state poor people who get foodstamps get soda non taxable because on foodstamps tax is not an option..

Then with the general public it's not gonna affect people. Caffeine is an addiction. People aren't going to stop drinking just like that because of a tax.. get real people.

Author:  FadingHippie [ Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:08 pm ]
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here's the study the gov't did: http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/EIB34/

as for education... some educated people are on foodstamps... just as their are uneducated not on foodstamps.

Goodness knows until IOP I truly did not know that much about nutrition.. honestly.

Author:  FadingHippie [ Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:14 pm ]
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I agree with that.

Author:  Blue Decay [ Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:08 pm ]
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I agree that taxing "fat" foods is going to do precisely dick-all in fixing the problem; it's the same thing as taxing cigarettes to deter smoking. I also find it horribly, painfully ironic that the government is taxing foods full of HFCS, which is only in everything (i.e. dirt cheap) because the government subsidizes corn production!

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