Tuesday, August 25, 2009


You know, I was thinking, food should be considered a right. I mean, we all need it to live. Now think of how many Americans don't get nutritious food. Many cannot afford it. Those people need help. Others choose not to buy and eat healthy food, but let's face it, that costs us all more in the long run, what with all the growing health problems like obesity and diabetes. What if the government were to step in with a federal food program? What would that look like?

  • First, a tax would be levied against every citizen, whether they chose to participate in the program or not. Gotta pay for it somehow, and with deficits skyrocketing, your pocket is the only option.
  • Those without proof of a government-approved diet will be forced to use the program. Others have the option... at first. To get government approval that your diet is sufficient, you will need to submit some or all of the following: a medical report verifying that you are not overweight or underweight, and that you are not diabetic, pre-diabetic, insulin-resistant, etc., a log of your food intake over the last month, and grocery and restaurant receipts from that time period.
  • Those in the program do not go to the grocery store. They go to a local government food distribution center, where, according to their age, gender, and other socio-economic data, they are given food for the week which has been determined to be statistically sufficient. This food is most likely not organic or "natural", but it will have what the government has decided is the proper amount and ratio of fat, protein, and carbohydrates, and be fortified to contain the Recommended Daily Allowance of the most important vitamins and minerals. It will require very little preparation, and there will be a government rebate for those who need to purchase the microwave necessary for most meals. It may or may not actually taste good. There may or may not be special meal packs available for diabetics, vegetarians, those with food allergies, etc. At the very least, a detailed prescription for special food will be required from your doctor.
  • You have to apply to receive special foods like a birthday cake, pumpkin pie, or Christmas candy at least two months in advance. These applications will be reviewed by a panel of government employees. You may be denied if you are overweight or have other health concerns.
  • Restaurants will have to show that their meals meet government standards. People in the program will be allotted a set number of restaurant meals per week. You may apply for more, for special occasions, or if your work schedule makes eating out the most convenient, and the panel will decide if you get them or not. Most restaurants will close, except for big chains that can handle the additional costs of government compliance.
  • The President will appoint a Food Czar, who does not need Congressional approval and answers to no one. This Food Czar will most likely be the former top-level employee of a large food company. That large food company will swiftly get the government contract to provide food for those in the program.
  • Those people without proof of healthy diet will immediately be ushered into the program. Many others will sign up voluntarily - free food, right? And, millions will retain their right to purchase food of their choosing... at first. As grocery stores and food companies start to go out of business, however, choices become more and more slim. More and more people are forced to turn to the government for their food. Eventually, a tipping point is reached, and either by market forces or law, there are no other options.
  • It all costs far more than was anticipated, and while a few people receive better nutrition than before the program's inception, most are now eating at a less healthy level than before. As costs continue to outpace income from taxes (think of how many more people are out of work NOW), the quality of government food steadily decreases.
  • There is no way in hell that the President, members of Congress, and other high-level government employees eat the same food you do. They fly their dinner in from France.
  • Those who are terminally ill or deemed irreversibly unproductive, such as the severely handicapped and those in a coma or "vegetative state" will receive food only if approved by the panel.
  • Two words: Soylent Green.

1 comment:

Diana said...

That's about how it would go!