Should We Tax Junk Food?

New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman recently wrote an article outlining an interesting solution to our obesity problem.  Tax junk food, making it more expensive.  Give the tax revenue to “healthy food” producers, making it less expensive.

I like the idea.  But, I have one question….

First of all, generally speaking, junk food is cheaper.  Primarily because the ingredients they use (corn, wheat, soy) are cheaper.  They’re cheap because the government subsidizes their production. I’m not trying to get political here, just the facts.

And I’m not a big fan of huge food conglomerates putting out literally tons cheap junk food.  But it’s a free country and they’re entitled to their profits.  And hey, we’re buying it.  It is capitalism at work.

But ultimately, here’s my question with the “tax junk food” idea.   Is the reason we don’t buy  healthy food because it’s more expensive?   If a can of carrots cost the same as a can of Pringle’s would we pop the top of fresh veggies instead?  I’m not so sure.  What do you think?




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