Tag Archives: poverty

Fast Foods and Food Stamps?

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Approximately 45 million low-income Americans are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program which provides food stamps to purchase produce, meats, dairy, breads, and packaged foods. There has been much controversy over which foods should actually be allowed to be purchased with food stamps based on nutritional value. Currently, items such as sodas, candy, and chips are able to be purchased, despite seeing trends in the rising obesity epidemic which is largely seen in low-income communities.

Recently, the Yum! Corporation which owns Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silver’s have been lobbying to have their fast food restaurants included within food stamp programs. They’ve caught on to the increasing use of food stamps during these rough economic years and would like to take full advantage of the opportunity.

What are people saying about this? Some anti-hunger coalitions are actually encouraging it! They’re reasoning, not everyone can get to a grocery store, so a fast food restaurant may be the optimal choice for some. At Foodfacts.com, we’re aware that many people are facing a tough financial time. However, we wouldn’t be so quick to recommend a 2 minute walk to get a KFC Double Down, when you may have some access to whole foods with proper nutritional value.

In good news, many public health organizations are rallying against this movement. They argue that the more revenue these fast-food chains bring in, the more health complications we see, and the higher price we pay later on. Try to eat whole, nutrient-dense foods as much as possible!

(Foodfacts.com)

“Golden Rice”

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A few years ago, TIME Magazine released a story deeming a new genetically modified strain of rice as “golden rice.” Why? This new engineered rice contains genes from various viruses and daffodils, which incorporates beta-carotene (vitamin A), into the final rice product. As numbers show, approximately 1 million children die each year because they are weakened by a vitamin A deficiency. So this now means that many people are hoping that this new rice can be part of the answer to solving malnutrition and world hunger…

Curious as to what occurred after this “breakthrough”? Monsanto took immediate advantage of this good press, which they rarely ever see. They, along with other major agribusinesses, created massive marketing campaigns promoting “biotechnology and its importance in ending world hunger.” Monsanto alone spent $50 million dollars in television and print advertising. Also, they marketed biotechnology in a way that would make those whom are skeptical look like the bad guys, or “road blocks” to ending world hunger.

What we know now is that these third world-countries that would potentially need “golden rice” the most, can’t even afford to grow these modified seeds. Such a great amount of pesticides and specific fertilizers are required, that it is merely impossible for these countries to ever obtain this type of grain. What many have to realize, Monsanto isn’t giving these seeds away, they want to make a heavy profit off of them. After hanging the “grain of hope” over these malnourished communities; Monsanto then basically stomped on their optimism. They teased these poverty-filled countries; they did not help them.

Is there a benefit for using genetically modified crops? Not really.