Feds save sodas From Bloomberg

Bloomberg's soda ban for food stamps denied

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made a goal of his third term in office to make his constituency as healthy as possible, in spite of themselves. He has gotten a law passed to force restaurants to place calorie counts on their menu items, and has attacked salt and sugar vigorously.

His latest attempt has run aground, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA last week denied the mayor a waiver that would have allowed the city to prevent residents from buying sugar-sweetened soft drinks with food stamps.

In denying the waiver, which would have allowed the city to set up a ban on a temporary basis, to be evaluated, the USDA stated that it “had concerns about the plans potential viability and effectiveness.” Specifically, according to an article on the Yahoo! News website, the proposal didn’t do enough to spell out which products would be affected, take into account the impact on retailers and didn’t outline well enough how the city would evaluate the ban’s effectiveness on curbing obesity.

According to the mayor’s proposal, the ban would have applied to any sweetened soft drink that contained more than 10 calories per eight ounces.

I’m of two minds when it comes to the idea of a “Nanny State” such as Bloomberg is trying to effect. On the one hand, I’m not comfortable with the government having a heavy hand in the choices I’m allowed to make as a consumer. On the other hand, as someone who does a lot of grocery shopping, I have witnessed food stamp recipients using their government benefits to make a host of unhealthy choices. I often think, “Shouldn’t you be buying more nutritious food for your children with those stamps, and use your own money for snacks and such?” Then again, I’ve never had to use food stamps or other government hand-outs, so I’ve not walked in their shoes.

The debate centers around whether the government should be allowed to control how the indigent spend the money the government gives them. Do people have a right to, in Mayor Bloomberg’s opinion, abuse their bodies and those of their children with government money? Of course, the mayor thinks not—he doesn’t even think people should be making unhealthy choices with their own money.

So, how much of a say should our elected officials have in how food stamp recipients use those vouchers? Readers, what are your thoughts?

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
boston college acai bowl

From Dannon Foodservice.

Catering to the go-go-go lifestyle of university students is a challenge, and it’s one that Boston College dining representatives wrestle with daily.

“Students don’t just want to eat dinner between 5 and 7 p.m.,” says Beth Emery, the school’s director of dining. “They may want to eat dinner at 9 o’clock. We’ve been trying to come up with creative solutions.”

Those creative solutions include everything from offering breakfast items throughout the day to providing healthier late-night choices to trolling social media for trendy new menu ideas...

Sponsored Content
savory yogurt parfait

From Dannon Foodservice.

What consumers eat and, most importantly, when they’re eating it has changed significantly in recent years, signaling opportunity for operators able to capitalize on this evolution.

For example, some 83% of consumers said they were daily snackers in 2016, according to Technomic’s Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report . That’s up from 76% just two years earlier. Snacking is growing across many channels from retail prepared foods to bakery and coffee cafes, fast-food locations and more.

Busy lifestyles, smaller households with greater meal...

Industry News & Opinion

Labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder has officially bowed out of consideration for the cabinet position, according to the Associated Press .

Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants—the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.—was tired of being under fire for hiring an undocumented immigrant as a nanny and being accused 26 years ago of physically abusing his wife, an unnamed source told CBS News . The agency reported that Puzder was unlikely to show for the start of his confirmation hearings tomorrow.

Puzder has also been attacked by organized labor for comments suggesting that...

Industry News & Opinion

Risley Dining Room at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has just become 100 percent gluten-free, 14850.com reports.

For the past two years, the university has slowly phased out gluten in the dining hall’s menu by eliminating it in its stir fries, biscuits and brownies.

Instead of offering gluten-free versions of typical college fare, including pizza and pasta, the dining service team aimed for more sophisticated restaurant-style items.

Along with being gluten-free, Risley is also peanut free and tree-nut free.

The dining room is the second college eatery...

FSD Resources