Candy Corn, Gatorade, and the Poor


a dozen of these, or a Gatorade. You decide.

A seasonally-appropriate deep thought from today's New York Times:

"When the moneyed classes indulge in sugar, it's part of an acceptable leisure activity," [candy researcher Dr. Samira Kawash] said, chewing over the significance of high-end candy destinations like Dylan's Candy Bar.

"But when poor people do the same thing, it's considered pathological," she added, citing the current debate over using food stamps to buy soda, candy and other "bad" foods.

Kawash is right: The New York debate over the use of food stamps to purchase soda couldn't be a more perfect illustration of our mystical feelings about the badness of certain foods. As she notes in the article, "a serving of Gatorade contains about the same amount of sugar as a dozen pieces of candy corn." In New York, Gatorade might get caught in the net of forbidden sugar-added beverages if Bloomberg had his way, but milk, soy milk, and pure juice remain legit food stamp purchases, even though they are as calorific as soda.

Yet I'd wager most Times subscribers shudder at the thought of chowing down on a handful of the tricolor treats while feeling vaguely virtuous as they gulp their sports drinks—even in decidedly non-athletic contexts. And, as Kawash's research suggests, many who do eat candy corn feel disproportionately guilty about their nutritional negligence or perhaps secretly enjoy slumming with the corn syrup–consuming masses.

As fascinating as Kawash's Candy Professor blog is, I fear that we have moved on from the vilification of candy. The bleeding edge of "bad food" magical thinking is in the soda aisle these days. After all, you can buy candy corn with food stamps, too.

For more on the imagined unique evils of soda, go here.

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  1. As part of my weight loss strategy, I’ve cut back on the amount of sugar I consume.

    Many drinks have just as much sugar as soft drinks, including “healthy” green tea drinks.

    The whole thing is retarded.

    1. Am I the only cheapskate who just buys tea bags and pours hot water over them for my tea?

      And drinks the tea without sugar?

      I drink coffee black and without sugar, too.

      1. You ratfucking teabagger.

  2. Re: Alt Text

    I would choose even merely one of those over a Gatorade.

    1. But you can’t stick those on your teeth to make fake fangs.

      1. You can’t with Gatorade, either.

  3. I’m in lust with Dylan

  4. You’re leaving out the fact that candy corn has no stimulus effect on the economy, since all the candy corn in the world was produced in 1911.

  5. What is this “soda” you speak of? Is it anything like pop?

  6. Great tag on the picture, KMW.

  7. “moneyed classes”

    God, save us from wealth-envy douchebags.

  8. You can have my candy corn when you pry it from my cold, dead, corn-syrupy, fattened fingers.

  9. I don’t know, personally, I think I’m for restricting the things food stamps can be used on. See, I don’t want other people using tax money from productive citizens to buy their food (or rent, or modifying their mortgage…). Restricting what they can use our tax money for might give them an incentive to improve their situation so that they can buy things with their own money that they’re not allowed to buy with food stamps.

    1. Exactly. Individual freedom goes hand-in-hand with self-reliance. When you choose to give up one; you should be forced to give up the other.

      1. No. When you give up one, you inevitably WILL BE forced to give up the other.

        A situation where someone else is paying your expenses, but leaving you free to spend as much as you want is financially unsustainable, and WILL result in that other entity restricting your actions. Any system or entity that doesn’t won’t survive.

        Hence, if you really want to be free, you have to be self-reliant. The idea that you can acheive freedom while depending on others for your sustenance is an absurdity.

    2. Its pointless, Slut. They already buy stuff food stamps won’t cover with their own money. Food stamps are a cash equivalent, and cash is fungible.

      1. I know. I’m just saying, go ahead, restrict the hell out of their use. I don’t care and I don’t opposing restrictions as a very libertarian position.

        1. Whoops, that should be “I don’t SEE opposing restrictions…”

          1. I do.

            Mailing poor people cash requires:

            1. Cash
            2. Envelope
            3. Stamp
            4. Guy to put cash in envelope and lick stamp.

            Devising systems where poor people get coupons to buy certain goods, and only certain goods, and get coupons to rent apartments, but only certain apartments, and get coupons to get health care, but only certain health care, and get coupons for fuel assistance, but only at certain times and under certain circumstances, etc. and ad infinitum, requires:

            1. 10,000 assholes with health care and pensions to write the rules for how these programs work and tweak them every year
            2. 1,000,000 assholes with health care and pensions to sit in offices and explain to poor people how they apply and how they use the coupons, to “advocate” for poor people who didn’t get their coupons, to seach high and low for someone who might have used their coupons illicitly, and so on and so on.

            Every control you attempt to put on the system increases the size and power and survivability of the state apparatus of administration.

            If our fellow voters are going to keep voting for programs to help the poor, because they feel guilty or feel pity or whatever, then they’re going to take our tax money and give it to the poor. The only question is how many parasitical bureaucrats will be employed in the process.

            Right now in some office somewhere some douchebag is getting paid to attend committee meetings about what drinks food stamps should and should not pay for. And for what?

            1. we’re gonna need more assh*les!

            2. This.

              Plus libertarians generally agree that the government doesn’t have the right to control what we put in our bodies because we’re fucking tired of hearing the phrase “Externalities” yelled in our ear. It’s tired.

      2. Its fungibility will decline preciptiously when it can only buy beets, brussel sprouts, and lima beans.

    3. The market will always find a way if there is a demand. As RC noted, people use their own money to buy what food stamps wont cover. And there are more than a few stores and individuals who pay cash under the table for food stamps, maybe 50 or 60 cents on the dollar.

      1. And stories of other people converting food stamps to cash at ~10 cents on the dollar…

        1. It’s easier than that. I used to work in a convenience store in my yute. Here’s how it works.

          Mom sends her four (or more) kids into the store to buy a small, low priced item with foodstamps. You give them real change back. Kids take change, give change to mom, mom comes in, buys cigarettes.

    4. I agree.

      Welfare should remind everyone what the socialist workers paradise was really like.

  10. I don’t really have a problem with restrictions being placed on food stamps: if the government is providing them then the government should be able to say how they should be used.

    As for “milk has the same calories etc …” I don’t think that’s very relevant given that milk has nutritional value. It’s a trade-off: you can get fat eating veggies, but surely it would be a better fat than doing the same from Twinkies.

    1. I dont think it is possible to get fat from vegetables if we are talking low carb veggies as opposed to starchy ones (potatoes, tubers, corn, etc). I’ve experimented with a lot of diets over the years and found that if I stayed under about 40-50 grams of carbs per day it was simply impossible to gain weight. You can’t gorge on just protein and fat–after a certain point your body will rebel. People just don’t eat a stick of butter, a dozen eggs, etc. But you can eat thousands and thousands of calories’ worth of carb-and-fat foods during a good binge.

      1. I refute you thusly:

        and for good measure

        Seriously, I agree with you. When I went on a low carb diet, I lost about 17 pounds. I remember my phisiology professor saying the source of calories didn’t matter – you could eat butter. But I think there really is something to how your body processes and reacts to proteins, carbs, and fats…but damn, I like pasta! and pizza. and rice….

      2. A few years ago I tried Atkins induction — less than 10 g daily of carbs, but everything else ad lib. I started gaining weight prodigiously, so quit in weeks. A friend had a similar experience, and since then I’ve heard from plenty of others the same. And it got me very constipated, which was a shock when my usual trouble is loose stools.

    2. I know. It’s a stupid argument. “Oh a snicker’s bar has the same calories as a tuna sandwich!” Well, the tuna sandwich has more nutrients. Milk has more nutrients than soda (which has none).

      1. I know. It’s a stupid argument. “Oh a snicker’s bar has the same calories as a tuna sandwich!” Well, the tuna sandwich has more nutrients. Milk has more nutrients than soda (which has none).

        Actually, the “empty calories” argument is scientifically ignorant. Whether you get some extra vitamins and minerals in your 1000 cal is irrelevant in regards to weight gain.

        Few people are suffering from beri beri or scurvy these days.

    3. Hmm, one could argue that libertarians should applaud any restriction that discourages welfare….

    4. So then why are drinks the target of proposed restrictions, rather than candies, which contain all the sugar but aren’t diluted by all that water?

  11. I say instead of food stamps, the recipients are required to go to the post office to pick up their supply of MREs for the week.

    1. according to this health class I took in QMBOLC, MREs should not be eaten for more than 30 days straight.

      Plus, MREs are packed with calories. People would get fatter faster on that stuff.

      1. You sit your ass in the bush for 30 days, and have some healthnut tell you that high-calorie MRE is bad for you while handing you a legume.

        You’d frag them.

  12. “she added, citing the current debate over using food stamps to buy soda, candy and other “bad” foods.”

    Like potatoes. They really want to exempt potatoes from the thing people can use food stamps for. I learned on PBS that the reason the poulation of Ireland grew so swiftly in the early part of the 19th century was the cultivation of potatoes, which require very little land or labor. Additionally, a diet of nothing but potatoes and a little buttermilk, provide all of the nutients the human body needs. I agree with Sharon Angle: we may have to fall back on a Second Ammendment solution to our bloated federal government.

  13. I love this time of year. I gets to buy me a bag of Brach’s Candy Corn. Yum. But then, I like Froot Loops too.

    1. In my halloween candy caste system, the candy corn ranked as “untouchable”.

      1. Sad. When I was a kid, candy corn were my favorite.

        1. My favorite was the house than handed out whole bags of chips.

        2. Inceidentlly, when I get to live in an area where there are lots of kids trick or treating, I’m going to be that person.

  14. Say…if she’s the “chicken feed”, I’d like to see the “Gatorade”. That one would probably be wet; shower, waterfall, tub, or swim?

  15. Not this again.

    When your food is paid for by someone else, they have every right to decide what you eat.

    Want to drink soda and eat candy corn? Get a fucking job.

  16. All of your food is paid for by someone else. And soon, so will all of your healthcare.

    That’s why we’re going to tell you what you can eat.

    1. Exactly. “We’re all interdependent” is just anlother way of saying “All of your decisions are belong to us”.

      1. C’mon Hazel. Say it… you know you want to. “Externalities”.

        Once you give in to it, everything the government does makes sense.

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