11/29/2012 06:29 pm ET

The Problem With Food Stamp Challenges

As the outcome of a debate he had with a Twitter follower, Newark Mayor Cory Booker says he will spend December 4 through 11 trying to live on food stamps. Should he follow through, Mayor Booker will be part of a rapidly growing group. In the last six months, mayors in Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Phoenix have also spent a week living on food stamps, as have the governors of Oregon and Colorado. And politicians are not the only ones participating in such experiments. A few months ago, celebrity chef Mario Batali successfully completed a food stamp challenge with his family, and there is a program at the University of Bridgeport that in a few weeks will invite students on the campus to do the same.