Maine Government: Bacon is a basic grocery food staple but peanuts are a processed snack food. What?

The state of Maine government has declared that, as of January 1, 2016, while bacon is a "grocery staple" that is exempt from being taxed (not new), any nut that has been shelled, salted or roasted is a processed taxable food (that's what's new):

The versions of Bulletin 12 “Retailers of Food Products” and Bulletin 27 “Sales of Prepared Food”, effective for January 1, 2016, have been revised. They can be viewed at The following summarizes the revisions:

Bulletin 12
Nuts and seeds that have been processed or treated by salting, spicing, smoking, roasting, or other means will become taxable on January 1, 2016. The revised bulletin now draws a bright line between unprocessed raw nuts and processed nuts. See pages 4 and 6. All shelled nuts will be taxable while nuts in the shell will be exempt except those that have been salted, spiced, smoked or roasted.

How is it that a heavily processed product like bacon is considered a non-taxable staple but shelled or salted nuts are so OMG processed that they are lumped in with candy and soda?! You can see the list here. Yet peanut butter is a staple.

What a junky message they're sending to the public. Maine is experiencing an all-time high rate of obesity like the rest of the country. People shouldn't be penalized for peanuts! Nuts that have simply been shelled are a wholesome, minimally processed and healthy food despite being calorie dense. Also, have you ever seen cashews sold in the shell? Nope. The bacon lobby must be louder than the peanut gallery.


  1. I eat unsalted peanuts in the shell most every day. Actually there is a field near here where they sometimes plant peanuts, and I have been known to procure a plant or two. :-)


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