I wrote to Cynthia in her "Rants 'n' Raves:" section about one of my recent annoyances:
My pet peeve lately is the ad frequently on TV with a housewife bitterly complaining about the fact that the government wants to tax some grocery products like sodas, fruit drinks, etc. etc. She concludes that she knows how to spend her grocery money without government interference. I get so annoyed... Lady, the items the government wants to tax are in no way groceries. Sodas, fruit flavored drinks, and many other such items, are NOT GROCERIES. They are NOT FOOD. They are a waste of money, frequently contain possible harmful ingredients, and worse, when consumed, take the place of real food that is needed for good health. Education seems to be falling mostly on deaf ears. I say, tax the h-e-double toothpicks out of all that stuff!
Bess W. Metcalf
Responses have been interesting so far.
This is about Bess's letter last
week. While she's right that that stuff (sweet fruit drinks, soda, etc.) isn't
food, per se, I don't think the government should tell us what to eat/drink and
what not to. We don't need the Food Police! I agree those "foodstuffs" are bad
for us...at least in excess. But if the government lets cigarettes remain legal
despite their causing cancer and a host of other diseases, AND despite their
being bad for the people in the immediate vicinity of the person smoking, the
government should not try to criminalize or otherwise influence against simple
empty calories. If we want to make bad choices, even eat ourselves into ill
health and early graves, that is our right. Maybe we're being stupid, but I
thought this was still a free country...or is it, anymore?
Unfortunately even if governments tax those ghastly
poisonous un-foods, people will still buy them, taking up more of their money
which could and should be spent on healthy whole foods. It would take a major
educational effort to change even a small portion of the vast majority of the
population that has become addicted to this junk to the point where they now
think of it as food.