On Wednesday, the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group, (ConnPIRG), released the findings of its report Apples to Twinkies 2012, which showed that more of Connecticut taxpayer dollars go toward subsidizing junk food ingredients than fresh vegetables and fruits, like apples.
At a gathering outside city hall in New Haven on Wednesday, the impact to taxpayers of funding junk food and the resulting health risks were discussed by representatives of ConnPIRG, Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity and local fresh food distributors.
“At a time when America is facing an obesity epidemic, crushing debt and a weak economy, we are spending over a billion dollars every year in subsidizing junk food ingredient,” said Daniel Smith, tax and budget advocate for ConnPIRG.
Smith said the report found that 18.2 billion dollars in American taxpayers’ subsidies went toward junk food ingredients since 1995. “That is enough to buy 2.9 billion Twinkies every year—or 21 for every single taxpayer,” said Smith.
In contrast, only $637 million have gone to subsidies for apples since 1995, enough to purchase 77 million apples per year on average – just half of one apple per taxpayer. “Apples are the only fresh fruit or vegetable that gets the only significant taxpayer’s subsidies,” he said.
Read more about the report’s findings and what state public health leaders had to say about them here.