Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Upstate Press Praises Schumer's Farm Bill Proposal

Yesterday, the Rochester-based Democrat & Chronicle published an editorial praising Senator Charles Schumer's recent legislation aimed at influencing the Farm Bill. The editorial called on upstate legislator Rep. Randy Kuhl to join Schumer in his call for indexing the benefits of the Food Stamps program to inflation.

Also notable in the public comments of this story is a variation on the old "food stamps buy steak and shrimp" myth. This myth has pervaded the public comment sections of many stories associated with last week's Food Stamps Challenge, often using similar language and style.

Peer-reviewed research on the Food Stamps program has concluded that participation does not affect diet negatively. Neither has any evidence been found that food stamps increase obesity and diet-related diseases, despite a multi-year panel convened by the USDA to examine just this question.


Anonymous said...

I don't think that the evidence you site as studies dispel the myth of "food stamps buy steak and shrimp". I don't believe there's a study that has been performed to analyze what food stamps have been used to purchase. The concern that most have is not that they are getting fat, but they are misusing them. The fact is that people do spend more of other people's money than they would of their own. There are better ways to solve the problem.

NYCCAH said...

“In fact, there have been several studies into the consumption habits of food stamp users conducted by the USDA. For an overview, see this report [link: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr19-4/]. The available research shows no real effect – positive or negative – on the purchasing patterns of low income families when they enroll in the food stamp program. What is known is that food stamps give these families more options in their purchasing decisions, and that the program [link: http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/February06/Features/feature4.htm/] does not have a significant effect on weight gain, which is the underlying complaint in many of these arguments.”