Reading journalist Heather Tirado Gilligan’s recently published article, “Food Deserts Aren’t the Problem: Getting fresh fruits and vegetables doesn’t make poor people healthier,” in Slate was an exercise in frustration. The author argues that a recent study published in Health Affairs demonstrates the essential failure of supermarket redevelopment policies to improve health in low-income “food desert” neighborhoods. In Ms. Gilligan’s article, you can find the typical errors Read More >
Also contributing to this story is Wei-ting Chen, a CLF-Lerner Fellow who is earning her doctorate in the Department of Sociology.
We appreciate The Washington Post’s ongoing effort to highlight the challenges associated with the food stamp program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). However, we find that Eli Saslow’s recent article on SNAP ignores widely available research on this important safety net program and in doing so leads to a shallow analysis that perpetuates an unfair and undue stigma among program recipients. We are particularly troubled by how Mr. Saslow frames the article, the last in a series of five, questioning whether SNAP “fuels” unhealthy personal decision making and leads to poor health experienced by many of its recipients – and correspondingly if the recent growth in the program can be tied to rising rates of diet-related disease. Frankly, these questions reveal just how far Mr. Saslow has missed the boat in his narrative. Read More >
After failing to pass a farm bill in the 112th Congress and burying a nine-month extension in the “fiscal cliff” tax bill that the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) deemed a “disaster for farmers,” the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are again taking up the task of crafting this complex and cumbersome piece of legislation. We take a quick look at where the Senate and House versions of the Farm Bill are, and what they may hold for public health. Read More >