More than 4,000 people are fasting in protest of the GOP’s proposed budget cuts—and food writer Mark Bittman is one of them. That may seem surprising—“after all, I eat food for a living”—but once he took a good look at the proposed cuts, "the decision was easy," he writes in the New York Times. The House budget would cut aid to WIC, international food programs that would immediately affect 18 million, farmers in developing countries, and our food stamps at home.
“These supposedly deficit-reducing cuts—they’d barely make a dent—will quite literally cause more people to starve to death,” Bittman writes. “And: The bill would increase defense spending.” Thirty-six hours in, the fast is already testing his fortitude, “but hungry as I may get, we know I’ll eat well soon.” Fasting is his way to show his support for the poor, who aren’t so sure about that—and to “remind myself and others that there are bigger things in life than dinner. (Shocking, I know.)” There are other ways to reduce the deficit (ahem, tax loopholes for the rich), and in the end, "The budget is a moral document," Bittman says. "Which side are you on?" (Read more fasting stories.)