Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Food Sovereignty

As I have said before, I do my best to avoid politics on my blog. Reason being I have no desire to alienate anyone. That being said, there is an issue going down in Maine that needs to be addressed. Residents in some towns there voted for food sovereignty which means "it’s giving its citizens the right “to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.” This includes everything from raw milk to locally slaughtered meats." I believe when the public speaks, the local, county, state and federal governments needs to listen.
They never do. Not really. Not unless money is involved.
Money is involved here. Big Ag and Factory Farms do not dig this I am sure and so under the guise of needing to comply with rules and protecting the consumer, the FDA is involved.
Here we go.
I completely understand the need for regulations when it comes to mass food production. I am not against them. What I am against is any agency stepping in when something has been voted and agreed upon by the public and follows the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance. Trying to overturn that is pretty crappy and shady at best.
An educated consumer will have researched raw milk and understand that eating scones baked in someone kitchen is not the same as something bought at Whole Foods or Kroger. But lets be honest, it is not like the factory farming world has been perfect and recalls get worse and worse every year from sprouts, to peanut butter to flour. If someone wants to buy food or milk or butter from a local farmer, who just might have a cleaner farm than Purdue or Tyson, they should be able to without question. I get that the FDA wants kitchen inspections, etc, but those things cost a lot of cash and if you read Joel Salatin's "Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal" You learn just how difficult the government and its agencies make it for you to participate in any cottage food industry endeavor. Such a bummer that we can't all coexist and that everything must become a court battle. Local farmers can't afford these fights, unless people raise money for them, which makes it harder to concentrate on their business. Some feed their families with what they grow and sell some of the extras to make money. Amazing how if you want to support yourself in such a fashion, it becomes akin to a criminal act. Shameful.

Thanks for letting me soapbox it today.


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