Replacing Food Stamps With Cash Is A Terrible Idea


All the principles of wine and food matching are a complex set of metaphors that actually have no basis whatsoever. I’m just saying ‘Stop it!’ Master of Wine Tim Hanni has been leading the crusade to debunk wine and food pairing myths for years now. Through extensive scientific study, Hanni has found that many traditional food pairings — like red wine and meat, or white wine and fish — do not actually enhance the flavor of either food group. Wine and foods have been paired and matched since the early 20th century, and possibly even before. But as commercial wine culture exploded in the 1980s and 90s, basic wine and food pairing “rules” were invented and promoted to further the purchase of wine. Hanni describes many of these rules as “well-intentioned,” and rooted in rationale. For example, it is widely espoused that red meat softens the effect of tannic red wine, hence the classic steak-and-cabernet combination. Hanni’s studies however, prove that it’s actually the salt in the steak rather than the steak itself that softens the bitterness of the tannins. But not all food and wine combinations are baseless. Hanni believes that it is the way the primary flavors interact together — sweet, sour, salty, umami and bitter — that will predict the palatial experience. Additionally, the more exaggerated the attributes of a wine, the more intense that reaction with food will be. Hanni writes, “in the simplest terms, sweet and umami tastes predominating in a dish will render a wine thin, bitter, sour and unpleasant while salt and acidity in the food will make the accompanying wine richer or smooth, or taken to the extreme, flat and flabby.” For instance, the combination of high acid white wine and oysters will not inherently enhance the flavor of either food, rather the vinegar based mignonette that dresses the oyster that will make a high acid wine taste balanced. So where does this leave us?

6 Things Food Network Won’t Tell You

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. And what about those parents who lack the discipline or willingness to make good decisions? Food stamps prevent them from shifting spending on food for their children to other less-essential goods.

From the start-up business plan, which relied heavily on subscribers buying an electronic coupon machine called Couponix, to the early team, which included CNN co-founder Reese Schonfeld, being told that they were out of their minds for wanting to broadcast cooking shows all day long, the early chapters are a textbookexample of a great idea coming along at exactly the right time and beating the odds. The founders of Food Network refined their vision as they went along, and managed to convince enough people to invest to make their vision come to life. RELATED: 35 Best Pizzas in America “My fondest memory from the early days was realizing that what we had been working on, we were actually going to do it,” Langhan told us. “We were able to take it from idea to implementation.” “CNN was architecture, and Food Network was carpentry,” Schonfeld added. “It’s fun to be a carpenter, but it’s never finished.” The early schedule was full of traditional “stand-and-stir” cooking shows hosted by folks like David Rosengarten (Taste), Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken (Too Hot Tamales), and a little-known chef named Emeril Lagasse (How to Boil Water and later Essence of Emeril), as well as a program hosted by Robin Leach (Talking Food), and a talk show hosted by Rosengarten and New York first lady Donna Hanover called In Food Today. But as Schonfeld put it, the work was never done. If Food Network has been consistent in one field it’s been its ability to constantly take chances and reinvent itself, from airing a wacky Japanese cooking competition show called Iron Chef to giving a cook without high-end restaurant experience named Rachael Ray her very own show to deciding who will be its next star via a reality competition show. RELATED: 22 Best Free Restaurant Apps But for everything that’s public knowledge, there’s a wealth of fascinating information that you most likely didn’t know about the network and its stars that’s revealed in the book. Click here to learn 20 facts that you most likely didn’t know about Food Network and its stars, starting with the early days and progressing to the present. 6) Emeril was offered a spot on ‘Iron Chef America’ Emeril Lagasse was devastated after his live show, which was the network’s highest-rated show for many years, was canceled due to lagging ratings and high production costs. But he wasn’t just let go outright: he was offered the opportunity to compete as one of the original Iron Chefs on Iron Chef America, which was in development at the time. Emeril considered the offer to be a major demotion, but the network saw it as an opportunity to recast him as “gritty, electric, and inventive.” He turned them down outright. 5) David Rosengarten was asked to audition for ‘Food Network Star’ David Rosengarten was host of two of the network’s earliest shows and was an integral part of its programming schedule until the end of the ’90s. But as an example of just how much the network had changed in just a few years, he was all but forgotten by the mid-2000s.