As you know, obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related diseases now affect more Americans than ever. A big part of the reason is that Americans now eat more meat, cheese, and junk food than ever. The latest statistics show that more than 1 million animals are eaten every hour in the U.S.
We now have a chance to change that. In 2012, Congress will decide what foods to subsidize. Up until now, meat and dairy products have benefitted from huge federal outlays, and it’s time to for that to stop. The Food Stamp program (now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) is part of the problem, too. As it is currently set up, grocers can sell meat, fatty cheese, sodas, and candy, in exchange for food stamps. One in seven Americans now gets monthly SNAP credits that make these unhealthful foods absolutely free.
With 46 million Americans on SNAP, deficit-minded legislators are aiming to cut SNAP benefits to save money. But PCRM has a plan to help low-income individuals survive and thrive these cuts. Please contact Congress and urge them to reform the SNAP program by prioritizing healthful foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
We recently produced a report, demonstrating that if we limited SNAP food eligibility to the “Healthy Basics,” i.e. fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, we could improve the health of low-income Americans and save taxpayers $255 billion. Furthermore, by requiring that SNAP dollars be spent on healthful foods, we will incentivize grocers to stock those foods, ensuring that nutritious foods are available in low-income neighborhoods.