Instagram This: Looking At Food Pictures May Make Real Food Less Tasty

After Colorado we made our way to Omaha, a city emblematic of the midwest: large grain silos and wind turbines passed my train car window welcoming me to America’s agricultural heartland. My first meeting was at a pay-as-you-can restaurant named Table Grace Cafe where I convened partners including owner Matt Weber and urban farmers from Big Muddy Farm and anti-hunger activists from No More Empty Pots . Table Grace Cafe offers meals on a sliding scale made with food from Whole Foods that would have otherwise been tossed out. Together we discussed the opportunities around improving the food system, including community supported agriculture and social mission driven restaurants. Soon nutrition researcher Courtney Pinard from The University of Nebraska met up to join me on my to visit to Dr. David J. Hibler’s Community Produce Rescue . Dr. D, as he prefers to be called, picks up unsellable produce from groceries and distributes it to community agencies serving those in need. Dr. D began picking up good quality grocery food that was destined for the dumpster over 20 years ago in order to feed his 8 kids.

Replacing Food Stamps With Cash Is a Terrible Idea

If so, the $75 billion annual food-stamp program generates more than $11 billion in extra food spending. This was a huge reason legislators from farm states — most of them Republicans — were once such ardent proponents of food stamps: It was a hefty goodie for their agriculture constituents on top of the roughly $25 billion in explicit annual government handouts for agriculture. If food stamps were converted to a cash benefit it’s likely that the overspending — and thus a big piece of ag-industry pork — would diminish or disappear. What’s more, Yglesias says, the voucher system we now have breeds fraud and corruption, a standard plaint of Republicans. (In an amusing aside, he describes how some years ago he used to buy cigarettes — which can’t be purchased with the vouchers — for a neighbor who was on food stamps, who in turn bought him boxes of Diet Coke. Food-stamp fraud alert.) Hold on a minute. Studies suggest that fraud is modest, equal to about 1 percent of the program’s spending. That’s still a lot of money, but as a percentage of the total it’s minor. Furthermore, fraud has gotten harder ever since benefits have been issued on electronic-benefit transfer cards, which operate like debit cards at the grocery store. What’s more, drawbacks to doling out cash are real and fly in the face of the moral component of receiving a government benefit. Aid comes with strings attached as part of the goal of inducing behavior that’s deemed socially beneficial. That’s why food stamps can’t be used to buy tobacco or alcohol. If a cash handout is easier for a store to administer, the same is true for a cash benefit used to buy dope on the street. Yes, there is an element of paternalism in food stamps. Yet it’s hard to justify the government using taxpayer money to subsidize iPhone purchases instead of spending on a necessity such as food.

“It’s sensory boredom — you’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience anymore.” Researchers asked 232 people to rate pictures of food based on how appetizing it looked. Half of the participants looked at 60 pictures of sweet foods like cake, truffles and chocolates. The other half looked at salty treats like chips, pretzels and French fries. Subjects finished off their experiments by eating peanuts, which is a salty food. They were then asked how they would rate the peanuts they just finished. New findings on junk food photos The people who looked at the salty foods enjoyed the peanuts less than those who didn’t, even though they didn’t see actual pictures of peanuts. The researchers believed that because they had looked at so many salty delicious foods, the subjects had satisfied their appetite for those types of foods. The authors believe that the more pictures of a certain type of food a person looks at, the less tasty that food will be when they actually get to eating. They said surfing food pictures might be a good tip for dieters. “If you want to enjoy your food consumption experience, avoid looking at too many pictures of food,” study co-author Jeff Larson, a marketing professor at Brigham Young University’s Marriot School of Management, said in a press release. “Even I felt a little sick to my stomach during the study after looking at all the sweet pictures we had.” However, the researchers pointed out the effect was only pronounced if you looked at lots of food pictures.