Navajo Nation Makes Great Decision to Tax Junk Food, We Should Follow

Starting next month the Navajo Nation will be the first place in the United States to place a tax on junk food. Members can expect a 2 percent sales tax on garbage like: pastries, chips, soda, desserts, fried foods, sweetened beverages, and other shit with no nutritional value that makes us all perpetually sick. According to Mother Jones about 8.3 percent of Navajo Nation members have type-2 diabetes. And 25 percent are pre-diabetic.

From Mother Jones:

According to a 2014 report from the Diné Policy Institute there are just 10 full-service grocery stores on the entire Navajo reservation, a territory about the size of West Virginia that straddles parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. As a result, many people rely on food stamps to stretch grocery dollars with the inexpensive processed, fried, and sugary foods commonly found in gas stations or convenience stores.

But even having a grocery store nearby doesn't guarantee access to healthy food. A DCAA survey of one major grocer in the town of Kayenta found approximately 80 percent of the store's inventory qualified, in the group's definition, as junk food. Compounding the issue is the continued popularity at family gatherings, flea-markets, and ceremonial gatherings of lard-drenched frybread—whose dubious origins have been traced back to the "Long Walk," the federal government's forced removal of Navajos to a military fort in New Mexico 300 miles away from ancestral land in Arizona.

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The reservation announced its plan to use the expected $1 million in tax revenue for "community wellness projects such as farming, vegetable gardens, greenhouses, farmers markets, clean water, exercise equipment, health classes and more."

Photo via Shutterstock

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