According to the USDA, 99% of Navajo Nation is a "food desert." However, Denisa Livingston from Dine Community Advocacy Alliance and the Slow Food International Council, holds that the lack of healthy foods in the Navajo Nation is more accurately described as food apartheid. Reflecting on the multigenerational impacts of unhealthy foods and drinks in the Navajo Nation that stem from a history of dispossession and harm, Denisa discusses how the fight to reduce sugary drink and other unhealthy food consumption is a matter of reclaiming indigenous lifeways and foodways. She talks about the Healthy Dine Nation Act of 2014, a 2% tax on unhealthy foods and foods with minimal-to-no nutritional value, and the importance of uplifting food as medicine. Further drawing from her lived experience and work, Denisa discusses the need for the struggle for food sovereignty to center community connection and healing and the ways language and culture are central to the fight. This episode of In Praxis is a part of Season 2: Sugar Sweetened Beverage Taxes.
The information, opinions, views, and conclusions proposed in this episode are those of our podcast guests.