Should Food Stamps Buy Lobsters & Porterhouse Steaks?

June 8, 2011

The Daily Mail claims it has an authentic receipt that proves someone used food stamps to buy more than $140 worth of lobsters and Porterhouse steaks. And for the sake of this argument, let's assume it's genuine, someone really used their food stamps to buy a nice little surf and turf dinner for them and their friends. 

How does that make you feel? Do you think we should monitor what people spend their food stamps on? 

>>Man Wins $2M Jackpot, Admits He Still Uses Food Stamps 

Sure, lobster and steaks are a particularly galling example, but its not hard to imagine that once the government starts dictating what kinds of food poor people should have access to, it could quickly become a slippery slope rife with politics and terrible public policy. How long until the government realizes it can do better by blocking people from using food stamps on organic produce, or higher quality foods that aren't subsidized by the government?

And what about the parents who use all of their food stamps on cheese curls and fruit punch? Are they any less wise with their food stamps? Or is it that we can't stand the idea of poor people using assistance to have something that we all consider a luxury? 

Or are you a hard liner? Do you think food stamps should be reserved only for the most needy and should only be spent on the bare necessities? And what would you consider the bare necessities for a healthy diet? 

What do you think? Should the government monitor how people use their food stamps? Or can we live with a few lobsters and steaks in the name of getting government out of out grocery carts? Let us know! 


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Lesle Bevins's picture

Interesting article. Very thought-provoking.

Sparkd's picture

I'm not worried about lobster and steaks because the government doesn't give enough food stamps to eat that daily. But cheap foods cheap and cause diabetes, hypertension, heart disease are constantly on the menu of food stamps recipients because Wholefoods isn't a long-term option for the poor---which includes college students, elderly, unemployed and ill.

Eat you steak and lobster. It can be a celebration of a new job or graduation. People should mind their business and stop being pawns.

All of these complaints about system abuse...I dare to see you do that to banks, oil companies, or Monsato.

Fae Queen's picture

I use food stamps, and I am very frugal, using stockpiling of sales items, buying bogos, etc. After a few months, if I have some extra, and steak and seafood is on sale, yes, I treat myself. I got a strange look the other day because I bought $40 worth of rib eyes that were on sale half their usual price, but those steaks will last me for a month or more. You don't know how this person is using this food. They may be stretching it like I do by making stir-fries or eating it cut up in pasta. Maybe they just got a good job and were celebrating, used the rest of their food stamps to blow it out. I have no problem with that. I get strange looks when I buy organic food too, but I am after health, and if I have to eat less to eat healthy, that's what I do. I don't think those who have never used food stamps understand how hard it is to eat healthy on that tiny bit of money. If I choose to buy steak and lobster to put into my brown rice and beans, who's to say I'm wrong?

Phil Rozzi's picture

To tell you the truth most of these people that receive stamps are trailer trash. If you told them to cook food on their own, they would just starve because they wouldnt know what to do. These people are bred on mountain dew and fast food and so are their children. Maybe a cooking class would be good as well as nutritional courses. But then again it is very hard to change the mindset of lazy trash.

Brian 's picture

All of you who say mind your buisiness, if I'm paying for it, it is by definition my business. And forget Lobster and steak, all of you commenting here who said they are on assistance, how do I have to pay for your food but somehow you have a computer or phone to post here. Get a job, and if you can't make enough get a better job, welcome to America, sink or swim.

Reality123's picture

Are people on food stamps not allowed to eat lobster and porterhouse? This could have been a special occassion and they rationed their food stamps to be able to do this and eat whatever for the rest of the month.
no one is dictating to you that you can't eat chips and soda if you want. Because these people need help from the government food, they should now be forced to eat healthy food, that you as an individual may choose not to? They do not get a choice anymore? Yes, in an ideal world we should all eat healthy, but no one is forcing you to, you make the choice. Why should they be forced to? I just do not understand the logic.