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Moby Op-Ed Sparks Backlash for Arguing Food Stamps Shouldn’t Pay for ‘Junk’

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The musician offered his hot take in the Wall Street Journal

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Moby speaking from a podium
Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association

Moby, an electronic pop music star who moonlights as a pretentious vegan restaurateur, really stepped in it this week. In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, published Monday, he argues that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the official government name for food stamps, also known as SNAP) should not cover “junk” and instead should focus on “cheap, healthy foods like beans, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.”

“Right now, a congressional arm-wrestling match is pitting those who want to preserve funding for SNAP against those who want to gut it,” Moby writes. “As I can attest from my childhood experience, SNAP really does help feed poor people, and no one wants to return to the days when America turned a blind eye to hunger. But it also puts a lot of unhealthful food on America’s plate. Its costs are huge, as are the added costs of treating diabetes, hypertension and other illnesses that poor eating habits cause.”

A man worth millions of dollars is saying individuals who rely on government assistance should not be able to use food stamps to purchase things that are deemed to be unhealthy. This isn’t sitting well with Twitter users.

Moby explains in his column that he was raised by a single mother who used food stamps, thus implying he has some authority on the topic despite his current wealth, because he has been there. “Being poor can involve shame, as well as a commensurate longing for pride,” he writes. “Nothing delivers a greater sense of pride than helping your children succeed and doing your best to see that they grow up healthy.”

“Congress should fix SNAP, not gut it,” Moby writes in closing. “The U.S. can have healthier people, lower health-care costs, and a trimmer budget at the same time.”

An estimated 43 million Americans, out of roughly 325.7 million, use SNAP. At no point in his op-ed does the musician, who is sometimes known as DJ Cake, advocate that individuals with the means to purchase food without government assistance should have their diets regulated. He also doesn’t offer any guidelines as to what should be considered “junk,” which, as GQ’s Kevin Nguyen points out, is subjective:

Food Stamps Shouldn’t Pay for Junk [WSJ]
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