New Tenn. bill wouldn't allow food stamp users to buy unhealthy foods

More than a million people in Tennessee use food stamps. Their freedom to buy whatever groceries they want may be at risk.

If state Representative Sheila Butt gets her way, a newly proposed bill would ban families using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program from buying unhealthy groceries. Specifically, foods high in calories, sugar and fat like ice cream and soda. The idea is that people will become overweight on the government's bill.

Butt says "taxpayers are supporting unhealthy lifestyle choices on the front end and end up paying for resulting health care costs on the back end."

The bill would fine businesses that sell junk food to SNAP users. Right now, the US Department of Agriculture says junk food is OK to buy on food stamps.

Critics say the bill punishes SNAP families for buying what others buy. Soft drinks were the No. 1 purchase of food-stamp families. However, among non-SNAP households, soda was the No. 2 purchase, according to a report from the USDA.

If the bill gets passed, it'll take effect in July.

The Foods You Can Eat After Their 'Sell By'
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The Foods You Can Eat After Their 'Sell By'


Chocolate, for instance, is always good, even after it’s covered by that sort of white look. The white shading is called “blooming,” which is when the fat rises to the surface of the chocolate. It will affect the flavor, but it’s still totally safe to eat.

Photo: Aimee Herring


Chips are so high in salt that it helps them preserve well.

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When it comes to eggs, the best way to know if they are fresh is by putting them in a container with cold water. If they sink, they are good to eat. If they float to the surface, they're no longer fresh.

Photo: Oliver Strewe via Getty Images

Canned Foods

Canned foods last much longer than their expiration date, just make sure keep them in cool and dark areas. 

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Dry Pasta

Dry pasta will also be fine if you’re storing it airtight.

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Fruits and Veggies

When it comes to fruit and veggies, trust your instincts. If it looks and smell good, you should be fine to consume it.

Photo: Dynamic Graphics Group via Getty Images


While you should certainly get rid of cheese when it's moldy, hard cheeses, like cheddar and parmesan, tend to last longer.

Photo: Junior Gonzalez via Getty Images


It takes years for alcohol to go bad, but we are sure you already think twice before throwing that away.

Photo: yangwenshuang via Getty Images


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