Vilsack had a similar response when a reporter from Minnesota Public Radio asked his opinion on adding restrictions to what foods SNAP users can buy.
“That sounds simple, but it gets very complex very quickly,” Vilsack said. He used shredded wheat as an example, explaining that reduced-sugar shredded wheat might sound more healthy, but in fact, the increased salt and other negative factors make sugared shredded wheat the more healthy choice.
“And then there is the enforcement issue,” Vilsack said. “When you’ve got 250,000 facilities selling (groceries) with 18-year-old clerks at the registers trying to figure out if someone is trying to use SNAP for restricted foods while there are long lines of customers, it’s just not a good answer.
“That’s why we did this study — to see if incentives work. We see that they do, and it doesn’t take big incentives. A 25% increase for 15 cents a day shows that.”