U.S. Government Subsidizes Healthy Food

Every year, the U.S. federal government subsidizes America’s junk food habit with bazillions of dollars in tax breaks & subsidies.

But today, in a shocking turn of events, the USDA has announced the creation of a new “healthy eating” program.

Or, in other words… The U.S. government is subsidizing healthy food.

The $20 million program is being tested in Hampden County, Mass. and is designed to encourage healthy eating among low income families.

Specifically, The Healthy Incentives Pilot will enroll 7,500 randomly selected SNAP (aka Food Stamps) households to receive the HIP incentives.

For every dollar that participants spend on fruits and vegetables using their SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, 30 cents will be added to their benefit balance – thus cutting the cost of fruits and vegetables by almost one-third.

And if this Dutch research is correct, this cost cutting measure will result in the higher consumption of fruits & vegetables.

And to make things even better, this program will operate in tandem with the Food Bank Farm program already being sponsored by the Food bank of Western Mass. (The FB Farm program promotes local food consumption)

Conclusion

This program seems pretty great to me.

  • It reduces the cost of fruits & vegetables
  • It increases the consumption of fruits & vegetables
  • It increases the consumption of local fruits & vegetables

The only drawback seems to be the $20 million.

Maybe the USDA should raise the cash by slashing some of the current USDA junk food subsidies.

.

0 comments

  1. I thought Harvard did a study about a year ago saying that decreasing the cost of healthy food didn’t necessarily increase the consumption of such food. People just spend the extra savings on junk food. The key was to increase the cost of junk. Maybe a two pronged approach as you imply of decreasing subsidies to junk (i.e. raise the cost) and decrease healthy?

  2. There are also studies which show that small increases in the price of junk food doesn’t affect purchasing decisions…large tax increases yes.

    How about slapping a 25% tax on junk food and applying all of that tax revenue to reduce the price of “real food” – fruit, vegetables, animal protein, etc…

  3. Fresh fruit and vegetables are relatively so expensive when you compare calorie for calorie and gram for gram of protein that adding 30 cents on the Dollar won’t even make a dent in the bill of the average American family that wants to start eating healthy.

    The government subsidizes the junk food and GMO related farming industries with Fed bailouts and other hidden waivers and incentives in the tens or even hundreds of billions. They have illegal immigrants bussed in from Mexico that do not have to go through Customs for goodness sake.

    When the government does something that favors We the People instead of corporate lobbies…well…I’ll believe it when I believe it 😛

  4. Heirloom seed banks would be cheaper and make our people self sufficient instead of weak and dependent…..

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