What's Worse, Soda or Potatoes? Feds Don't Seem to Know

| by CEI

By Hans Bader

The federal government has rejected a proposal from New York’s Mayor to exclude sugar-sweetened drinks from the food stamp program. But the government earlier banned white potatoes from the federal WIC Program, under the theory that they aren’t healthy enough. Is a baked potato, which has a lot of vitamin C, really less healthy than sugary sodas? (Potatoes also have more Vitamin C than a banana or an apple, and contain all 8 amino acids, unlike most other staple foods like corn.) The government does not seem to know how to distinguish between “good” and “bad” foods.

Meanwhile, the government also spent $766,000 of your tax dollars to open an International House of Pancakes in Washington, D.C. It’s also subsidizing the development of high-calorie foods that benefit politically connected agribusinesses.

If food stamp use were restricted to certain foods, it might provoke a big outcry, since a record 45.8 million people are now on food stamps, leading some to call America a “food stamp nation.”