In my last blog I talked about the impact of food assistance on local diets in the Southern Hemisphere; programs such as the two depicted above.
But food assistance to the poor or to schools by means of federally-assisted food programs can also impact on diets – or diet expectations – in the Northern Hemisphere, as a recent article in ‘The Pig Site’ suggests:
…USDA announced last week that it would purchase $30 million worth of pork products for public feeding programs, well short of the $50 million purchase that had been requested by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). USDA cited federal budget constraints….
…The most popular product in the spring USDA buy was a pre-cooked pork patty that could be made of either sow or butcher hog trimmings…
Is this going to substantially change the diets of the poor or of kids receiving federally-supported lunches? No, certainly not this one example. But it is the cumulative effect of a variety of federally-subsidized foods and food products that could lead it that direction. Has any work been done on this topic? Maybe – though I’m not aware of it. If you know or have thoughts, let us know about it!
P.S. – I’m certainly not against federally-supported programs in supplying food – but am concerned about the implications and unintended outcomes.