Americans deserve food choices

Brandon Porras

Rep. Oliver Olsen of Vermont recently proposed that the government should dictate what is allowed in a food stamp-approved purchase. His main goal is to prohibit the exchange of food stamps for candy or other junk food.

Olsen’s argument is that too many Americans eat poorly and that cutting the junk out of food stamps will lower the cost of medical care.

Whether it is morally correct of him to decide what people eat instead of pushing a campaign to improve people’s decisions overall and not just the ones on food stamps is where the real question lies.

The price of a candy bar or soda is often much lower than a more nutritious food or beverage. And especially in this economy, people are trying to save and get more out of every dollar.

Can Americans on food stamps be forced to get less out of their benefits?

We the people have the right to be healthy. Whether we do something about it is another issue at hand.

Next they will tell us we have to run a mile a day or we have to workout every day of the week, which some of us do — others just don’t care much for that. Leave it in the military or to those interested.

That we make poor choices might be true, but we learn, and — well, some need guidance. We have the choice to eat what we want in this country. The choice to stay fit basically falls to the person, not the government, unless we are becoming a communist country, telling the people what to do.

Olsen’s main focus should be pushing the price of vegetables, fruits, and milk low enough for any American to be able to live off of. As it is, the government pays farmers to not over-produce to maintain a certain value across the country, even though they basically dictate what the farmers farm. So can they lower the value and help the people as well as the farmers?

Can this proposal be morally and ethically justified? From my point of view, Olsen needs to direct his attention to improving our economy and not make it hard for those on food stamps because they already have it hard as it is.