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Snake Lollies | © William Hook / Flickr
Snake Lollies | © William Hook / Flickr

The Pacific Island Banning Western Junk Food

Picture of Juliette Sivertsen
Updated: 13 February 2017
The Pacific Islands are often synonymous with fresh fish, root crops and tropical fruits. But there’s another side of island cuisine which is having serious health impacts – processed foods from offshore. So, one tiny community in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu is taking a stand by banning all imported junk food.

The small community of Torba has made international headlines as it aims to be Vanuatu’s first organic province by 2020. The head of the local tourism council, Father Luc Dini, told The Guardian that the nation has an ‘infiltration of junk food from overseas.’ He’s now calling on all tourism bungalows to serve only locally grown organic food. He claims many provinces have adopted Western diets high in sugar, which is affecting the health of ni-Vanuatu.

‘In other provinces that have adopted western diets you see pretty young girls but when they smile they have rotten teeth, because the sugar has broken down their teeth. We don’t want that to happen here and we don’t want to develop the illnesses that come with a Western junk food diet.’

Imported western junk food will be banned from a Vanuatu community | Kevin Krejci / Flickr

Imported western junk food will be banned from a Vanuatu community | Kevin Krejci / Flickr

The Torba Tourism Council has already passed legislation declaring that Torba is organic, while further legislation will be passed in the future banning all imported junk foods. It’s unclear at this stage whether that will affect the import of alcohol.