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Mainely Tipping Points

Interesting Information: “Buying and Selling of Homemade Food” by Cynthia Rosen

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Interesting Information:  July 15, 2014

A Letter to the Editor of THE FREE PRESS

 

Here’s a letter to the editor in one of our local papers, THE FREE PRESS, from July 10, 2014.

The issue is “food safety” and how it is being used to kill small businesses–or, how our government is using food safety to stop all competitors to our Big Ag/Big Food industry.

I’ve written about this issue before.  These kinds of “food safety” laws are also being wielded all over Europe to run out small farmers, to stop farmers’ markets, to hobble produce growers, and so forth.

Maine has a lot of small farms.  We’re one of the few states that still does.  And Mainers are fiercely independent.  SMALL FARMS DO NOT OPERATE LIKE THOSE BIG COMMERCIAL FARMS IN ANY WAY.  We cannot hold them to the same rules that big, dirty farms should have.

So what does “freedom” really mean if we don’t have the choice to eat what we want.

This letter raises some really interesting points, and I hope you will consider them as there is such a slender line now between letting Big Food and Big Ag drive out all the small artisan food producers.  You can view other posts on this blog about this issue.  There is a Mainely Tipping Points Essay on the situation in Poland, many posts about raw milk, about Sandor Katz’s live lacto-fermented food, about how what we now call commercial yogurt, cheese, bread, kombuchu are but pale shadows of the real thing.  We have to stand up to this movement–as its sterile, processed food is killing us.

 

 

7/9/2014 10:33:00 AM

Buying and Selling of Homemade Food-

I was given homemade blueberry wine for my birthday. I shared with my friends and it was delicious. Another gave me a quart of homemade raw yogurt. Soon after, someone I know shared a butchered chicken from their backyard flock. My family ate fresh, local baked bird for dinner and enjoyed a pot of chicken soup from its carcass. Someone else makes scrumptious old-fashioned kraut and another makes out-of-this-world pies. What if I gave the wine-maker, the yogurt-maker, the chicken producer, the kraut and pie-makers something in trade? What if I wanted to give them some money? I don’t know how many folks realize that if I gave money for their homemade foods that they’d be breaking the law. How many understand it’s against the law to sell to me what they can give to me?

The government has decided we’re not allowed to trade with each other without permission and the courts agree. Dan Brown sold milk directly to folks who wanted his milk and Dan has been taken to court and found guilty because he wasn’t permitted by the government to do this. They say it’s about food safety. Then why isn’t it illegal to give homemade food away?

Most people find acceptance for government regulation when it’s about products on mass scale that change hands before getting to the consumer. What the government has made illegal, though, has no middle men. There is no chain of custody to track. There is only the producer and the consumer involved. What kind of arrogance treats me like a dimwit who cannot decide what to eat?! What kind of elitist garbage treats us as children that need permission to trade with each other?!

The state’s interference in private transactions is a violation of what is sacred. I accept no government authority over my GD-given natural right to feed and nurture myself. The continued decline of small diverse farms results in less food choices for us all. When the government makes immoral laws it is up to the people to reject them. I will get my food how I decide and more so from folks who are not state sanctioned; from folks I know and trust. I will trade what I want with whom I want. Natural law does not cease to exist just because man says so!

Cynthia Rosen, Washington

 

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