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Five reasons we can't let Big Bird go on food stamps

At Wednesday's debate, Mitt Romney casually said that if he's elected president, he'll cut funding to PBS -- and he specifically mentioned Big Bird seconds later. Fowl play! That was a serious harsh to the eight-foot tall, loveable yellow bird that has spent his entire career on Sesame Street, educating and entertaining children for 43 years. If Mittens would really give the beloved bird his walking papers, then Big Bird may need to join the 47 percent and apply for food-assistance benefits.

Here are the five reasons we can't let Big Bird go on food stamps. See also: - Debate 2012: The twenty best Big Bird memes to result from Romney's comment - Five new Muppets that Sesame Street should create to teach kids about food issues

5. Bird seed is not an allowed food item.

For people familiar with how EBT benefits work, it's no shock that you can't purchase certain things with them: pre-prepared foods including some deli items, for example, and hot-case dishes like fried chicken. Big Bird not being able to get ready-made fried chicken wouldn't be a major issue, since his diet probably doesn't include same- species cannibalism and what-not, but you can't get bird seed on EBT, either. Big Bird does eat bird seed, and unless his social services case worker can get him some sort of exemption on account of him being a bird, then our hungry yellow friend may have to learn to love other, acceptable foods -- like Tuna Helper and grits.

4. Fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive on a fixed food budget.

To add insult to injury, it's extremely difficult to budget for fresh fruits and vegetables -- never mind the high-quality organic ones -- since food stamp benefits barely cover basic nutritional requirements. Big Bird would have to understand and accept what folks receiving food benefits have to do -- which is view fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables as a luxury only to be had if there is enough in the kitty left after basic necessities have been accounted for. Being deprived of healthful, nutritious options could very well leave Big Bird tacking on some serious pounds, leading to diabetes, high blood pressure and decreased enjoyment of physical activity -- all rotten possibilities for a bird who has prided himself on singing, dancing and even ice skating for over four decades.

3. He can't get energy drinks with EBT.

Popular energy drinks like Monsters, Rock Stars, Red Bulls and 5-Hour Energy shots are also verboten to buy with food stamps, and despite the fact that these beverages aren't necessarily the healthiest things in the world, they can sure help a bird-bro out in a pinch. Bigs is gonna have to pound the pavement in search of new employment opportunities, do well in job interviews and/or employment re-training -- maybe he should consider a second career in wind energy or computer programming -- and having a high level of get-up-and-go is a helluva lot easier with some go-go juice in the early a.m. Sure, Big Bird could drink coffee instead, but he can't pay for Starbucks with a SNAP card, and he deserves better than Folgers.

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Jenn Wohletz
Contact: Jenn Wohletz

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