Archive for the ‘FoodFreedom’ Category
By Laura Bledsoe | October 24, 2011
(from Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund’s online newsletter: http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/quail-hollow-farm-dinner.htm
When an over-zealous regulator shows up at a farm dinner demanding that food be destroyed as hungry guests await, who do you call? Here’s Laura’s account written as a letter to her guests who had come to Quail Hollow Farm expecting a meal of foods harvested from local small family farms.
This incident shows the value of the 24/7 legal hotline for farmers like Laura who need help…even on a Friday night! A member benefit like the hotline is available thanks to the financial support of the many FTCLDF members and donors.
Dearest Guests, (You have all become dear to us!)
What an evening we had this last Friday night! It had all the makings of a really great novel: drama, suspense, anticipation, crisis, heroic efforts, villains and victors, resolution and a happy ending.
The evening was everything I had dreamed and hoped it would be. The weather was perfect, the farm was filled with friends and guests roaming around talking about organic, sustainable farming practices. Our young interns were teaching and sharing their passion for farming and their role in it. (A high hope for our future!) The pig didn’t get loose.
Our guests were excited to spend an evening together. The food was prepared exquisitely. The long dinner table, under the direction of dear friends, was absolutely stunningly beautiful. The music was superb. The stars were bright and life was really good.
And then, …
for a few moments, it felt like the rug was pulled out from underneath us and my wonderful world came crashing down. As guests were mingling, finishing tours of the farm, and while the first course of the meal was being prepared and ready to be sent out, a Southern Nevada Health District employee came for an inspection. Read more »
The FDA is on a campaign to ban raw milk sales. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has made it increasingly difficult for people to sell raw milk in the state and recently issued “cease and desist” orders to small, private dairy shares across the state, including one here in Mendocino County. And Mendocino County officials have been pursuing the issue as if there were some genuine threat to public health in this county. (See “Raw Facts on Raw Milk”.)
The real threat is that heavy handed government efforts to eliminate any possible risk from our food supply is stifling the growing local food movement in this country. As it is, small farmers and food producers have to jump through multiple hoops to comply with existing law, and the regulations are too often unclear, compliance outside the budgets of small producers. Meanwhile, giant corporations are implicated in large-scale food poisonings without serious consequences to themselves or their owners.
The FDA’s and CDFA’s targeting of tiny dairy producers is only the most public example of the difficulties others have encountered attempting to provide the public with tomato sauce, pickles, seaweed, sprouts, wildcrafted mushrooms, and other “potentially hazardous” foods. And the FDA is preparing rules for the sale of leafy greens that threaten to put small-scale producers out of business once and for all.
In this context, we insist on our right to feed ourselves. Starting at the county level, communities all over the country have begun to pass “food sovereignty” legislation challenging state and federal regulators to make room for traditional, small-scale production. Join the effort here in Mendocino County and help re-build our local food economy.