Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good News for women, children and maybe food deserts

Somewhere in my travels last week, I heard on NPR's Marketplace about how the changes in WIC allowed foods were affecting small retailers. It's now possible to buy many more things with WIC coupons, including fresh fruits and vegetables - not just canned and juiced - and soy products. The theory is that this may cause small retailers in some neighborhoods, where access to food shopping is limited and where poor young women shop, to stock more of these things. Imagine. Tofu at the 7-11.

But looking through the new food lists and the related FAQs, here's what I think:
Any young woman who can care for children and navigate the details of these guidelines (like why you can't buy canned black eyed peas with your veg coupons, but you can buy frozen - or why only GMO soybean derived soy milks are on the list, but you can get McCann's steel cut irish oats - or why you can pay extra if your fresh fruit goes over the dollar value, but if your pound of bulk oats or lentils turns out to weigh 18 oz. the clerk has to dump out the extra - and on and on and on) should be given a college degree.

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