As this is a food blog, I promise to avoid politics and social issues as much as possible. But on this point, I couldn't resist: are sales taxes on food making people, particularly the poor, unhealthy? Last weekend, there was an interesting article in the New York Times on March 9, by Katherine S. Newman. She posits that sales taxes, which are predominate in the South and Southwest, are by their nature regressive and impact the poor the most. It is also no coincidence that the South in particular has the highest rates of obesity in the country. As Newman pointed out, "High sales taxes make meals more expensive, so they shift to cheaper, unhealthy food." So, maybe one way to combat the tide of obesity in this country, especially in my state of Alabama, is to reduce or eliminate sales taxes on food. Just a thought.