How Republicans Justify Cutting Food Stamps While Boosting Farm Subsidies
(Colby Ware/special to The Baltimore Sun / July 29, 2012) Also By Hugo Martin September 22, 2013, 10:00 a.m. The food truck craze that has swept the nation will soon roll up to Los Angeles International Airport . No, airport security wont allow food trucks to pull to the curb of the terminal. Instead, an airport concession operator plans to install the shell of a food truck inside of Terminal 4. The fake truck will be outfitted inside with grills, pots, pans and other equipment to serve food. Starting Nov. 1, the food truck will be operated by food truck chefs based in Los Angeles, who will rotate in once a year or so. This is our way to help bring people with local talent to offer their food at the airport, said Rich Bennett, senior director of operations for HMSHost, a concession operator at Los Angeles International Airport. Meanwhile, Long Beach Airport is one of a handful of airports across the country that has allowed food trucks to park at its cellphone parking lots to dish out chow to drivers waiting to pick up friends and family members. The food truck program, called Truckn Tuesdays, was originally a summer event held the third Tuesday of each month. But it has become so popular that the airport plans to continue it indefinitely. Passengers, employees and those waiting in the area are enjoying it, said airport spokeswoman Kerry Gerot. ALSO:
States move ahead with food stamp cuts
Top 10 states 9,19 Source: June 2013 data, USDA Republicans blame the program’s ever-increasing rolls and cost on lax enrollment criteria rather than real need. Since before the recession, the price tag for food stamps has more than doubled, topping $82.5 billion in fiscal year 2013. Enrollment hit record highs, with 15 percent of Americans now collecting benefits. Many states have more than 20 percent of their population enrolled. Costs have continued to spike as well, as Washington pays for the benefits and states administer them. A new Congressional Research Service report released this month showed fiscal year 2012 was the 12th year in a row a new historical high was reached for federal food and nutrition programs, the vast majority of which is food stamps. Since fiscal year 2000, the report said, spending on federal food assistance has more than tripled. Put in a different context, the U.S. Census Bureau said food stamps lifted 4 million Americans out of poverty last year if the benefits were counted as income. What states are doing Kansas is the latest to embrace the cuts, ending a federal waiver on Oct. 1 that allows unemployed, non-elderly and able-bodied adults without children to remain on food stamps despite failing to meet certain work requirements. The change is expected to affect 20,000 Kansans.
They cared a lot about fairness, they protested — and they thought it was very unfair for people to be able to live without working. Haidt realized he was dealing with two very different conceptions of fairness: one of which had to do with equality, and the other of which had to do with reciprocity. Fair is a complicated word that appears unique to English (for more on its dizzying strangeness, I suggest you read economist Bart Wilsons piece , edited by me, from several years back). Different groups have invested it with very different meanings, which can make it hard to see how your political opponents can possibly believe what they do. So heres one reason Republicans might support farm subsidies, but not food stamps: the sense that you have to do something to get them. Ethanol subsidies are wildly distortive — bad for the environment, bad for the poor and bad for the U.S. budget. But the people collecting them do actually have to grow some corn, or make some ethanol, which is then used by other people. Theyre not being given money just for breathing. If you care a lot about reciprocity — and Haidts evidence shows that conservatives do — then this matters a lot. Lots of the rule changes that have driven the expansion of food stamps seem aimed at enabling people to collect them without working; the work requirements have been relaxed, and eligibility has been expanded to able-bodied adults without children. Its not crazy to view this with alarm. Im broadly in sympathy with the idea that benefits should be tightly linked to employment, unless youre so disabled that you really cant work.
Vendors, which include local food-service outlets, as well as national brands such as Chipotle and Amy’s Organic, must meet Farm Aid’s criteria for sourcing the ingredients in their food, from organic flour in the panini to free-ranging, antibiotic-free hogs on the barbecue grill. Even the cotton candy has a family farm origin, made from maple syrup produced in the Catskills. “Farm Aid’s mission is about family farmers, and economic opportunity for family farmers is a really big priority of ours,” said Glenda Yoder, associate director of Farm Aid. “We also support good farming practices and rewarding farmers for those practices. So our Homegrown criteria call for food that is sourced from family farms that meet an ecological standard, and that returns a fair price to the farmer.” Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Dave Matthews and John Mellencamp lead the star-studded lineup this year, along with Jack Johnson, Carlene Carter, Toad the Wet Sprocket and about 10 other artists. The annual concert is the chief moneymaker for the Farm Aid organization Nelson co-founded in 1985 and leads as president. The beneficiaries of the organization’s year-round efforts are always featured prominently at the shows, with a Homegrown Village providing concert-goers a chance to meet local farmers, learn agrarian skills, and eat food from vendors who meet strict criteria set by Farm Aid. “We talk about saving the family farmer, but the fact is, it’s the family farmer who will save us all,” Nelson said at a media event before the gates opened at noon Saturday. Matthews gave a shout-out to activists wearing anti-fracking T-shirts at the media event, which was also open to many farmers, vendors and volunteers. “Don’t frack our farmlands,” Matthew said, to loud applause. Several anti-fracking groups from New York and Pennsylvania had a booth at the event, calling for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to continue the state’s moratorium on shale gas development that began in 2008. During a performance Saturday night, Pete Seeger modified a line of “This Land is Your Land,” declaring “New York was meant to be frack-free.” This year the village was set up on the expansive lawns of the state park surrounding the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. The action there got going before the 10-hour concert. The village offered plenty of activities to help people get in touch with their inner farmer.
3D printing in the kitchen gives new meaning to fast food
Holman said his efforts are “at the dot-matrix stage,” as printing was in the early 1980s. “I can print out smoothies and Cliff Bars.” Many forms of confections could be produced through 3D printing. Eliminate waste Another important reason to turn to 3D printed foods is to address the wildly inefficient way that developed countries, especially the U.S., handle the food they produce. For example, Americans must drive to a store, buy their groceries, store it in cupboards, refrigerators and freezers, and yet, most consumers end up throwing out about 40 percent of the food they buy. “Every grocery store throws out 2000 pounds of expired food a week,” he said. “We’re good at figuring out how to make enough food and make it efficiently. Where we’re not efficient is in the last mile between the store and your mouth. “So now, I’m imagining, what if I had a machine with three buttons on it: ‘What I ate yesterday’; ‘what Beyonce likes’; and ‘I’m feeling lucky’,” Holman said. By pressing a button, the 3D printer, using a precise printer head, would put down just a pixel of food at a time, hydrating it with a needle, cooking it with a laser and repeating the process for every pixel until an entire meal is on the plate. 3D-printed food could also offer a method of tracking with pinpoint precision the effects any given food has on an individual. Because the amount of each food is measured precisely, the printer could record nutrient data, and a person’s health in reaction to food could be studied over a lifetime. Printed food could even include your daily dose of medicine. “This meal is customized for you.