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

Menu Development
pizza oven

Wood-fired ovens take the biggest slice of the pie when it comes to pizza-cooking preference for consumers. Just fewer than half (45%) of consumers say they prefer a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven compared to other oven cooking methods. Here are the styles of ovens pizza consumers prefer most.

Wood-fired oven 45% Gas oven 13% Electric oven 11% Grilled 4% Coal oven 4% No preference 23%

Source: Technomic 2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Industry News & Opinion
polystyrene takeout

New York City will immediately start phasing out foodservice operations’ use of polystyrene takeout containers after a judge ruled on Friday against an operator coalition that had sued to overturn such a regulation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said over the weekend.

Unless the measure is blocked again on appeal, the city will commence a public education campaign to smooth the way for the change to other sorts of containers. Operators will be given a six-month grace period to find alternatives before they’ll be subject to sanctions.

The measure was scheduled to take effect last...

Managing Your Business
uber driver

The freelance, independent-contractor labor market known as the gig economy is distinguished by working short-term contracts, or gigs, such as driving for Uber, Lyft or Instacart.

The majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027, according to a study called “Freelancing in America: 2017,” conducted by Edelman Intelligence. The annual study, commissioned in partnership by the Freelancers Union and Upwork Global, estimates that 36% of the U.S. workforce consists of freelancers who contribute approximately $1.4 trillion annually—an increase of almost 30% over the...

Industry News & Opinion

Sturgeon Bay Schools in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has partnered with a local farm to construct a school greenhouse , Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

Construction will begin soon, and the district says that the project is already 75% funded. Once the building is finished, students will be able to grow their own food at the greenhouse and then learn how to preserve it through canning and other methods.

“The greenhouse will provide students with the opportunity to grow food, sample food they have cultivated, design planting plans, tend seedlings, integrate real-life technology in...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code