A country that can engineer the seemingly unattainable economics of a $5 McDonald’s feast certainly has the capacity to produce a healthy meal for the same price. It’s just a matter of will — or won’t.
David Sirota in Why Americans can’t afford to eat healthy, arguing that the US must shift its agricultural subsidies from supporting the large-scale production of corn (used to make high fructose corn syrup) or soy (used to make low-cost vegetable oil) to other fruits and vegetables.
In Sunday’s NY Times, Mark Bittman takes this argument even further and makes the case for imposing excise taxes on unhealthy food such as soda or potato chips, applying the same rationale that US states use to justify cigarette taxes. Bittman would use excise tax revenue to subsidize healthier food.