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Junk The Junk Food Ban

Published On: Apr 18 2013 03:32:33 PM CDT
Neil Heinen photo





It’s as hard to defend junk food as it is to avoid it. But how much of it we eat is a personal decision, and the more we think about the proposed state law to prevent people from using food stamps to buy so-called junk food the less we like it.

This is slightly uncomfortable for an editorial board that embraces the good, clean and fair principles of Slow Food. But ultimately the positions are not totally inconsistent. First of all, we’re not sure who exactly can define junk food. In many cases one person’s junk may be another person’s useful calorie. And second, we don’t like the idea of forcing grocers to police how people use their foods stamps beyond the reasonable restrictions already in place.

But most of all we object to the implication that poor people are not as responsible as the better off, or need to be told what they should and should not eat. That’s not the job of the state legislature. This bill is a bad idea.

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