If You Like Eating What You Want, Check Out "Keep Food Legal"


Reason contributor Baylen Linnekin is heading up a new nonprofit devoted the libertarian principle of "culinary freedom."

Here's an excerpt from Keep Food Legal's mission statement:

We believe that every American should have the right to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, cook, and eat the foods of their own choosing, including everything from raw milk to trans fats, hemp to soda, and foie gras to Four Loko. We also support ending agricultural subsidies, which distort the market and help lead to problems like obesity and environmental degradation. We do not and will not advocate in favor of any particular dietary choices, nor in favor of any political party, ideology, or candidate.

More here.

Note: I'm on the board of directors of KFL. Go here for a full list.

Check out Linnekin's recent Reason story on the underground lobster-roll economy in New York. And watch him discuss a cooking competition called the "Duckathalon" which features the "Testicle Festival":

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  1. Too bad they didn’t call it something like “Keep Food unControlled,” then it could’ve been KFC.

    1. Bring back 4 loko.

  2. “Note: I’m on the board of directors of KFL.”

    A complete “Bailey Disclosure” should include something like “I have also in the past and will in the future continue to eat food, some of which might even have been genetically engineered.”

    Don’t admit to eating anything with HFCS, though. Dave W may still be lurking on the intertubes looking for new prey.

  3. It might sound nice to just let everyone eat what they want, but eventually society’s going to have to pay for their hospital visits and lost productivity. Eating yourself sick and depriving society of the tax revenue you would have paid if you were still able to work is tantamount to stealing.

    1. Will society also have to pay for your lost productivity due to the time you spent writing the above comment?

    2. society’s going to have to pay for their hospital visits and lost productivity.

      Well, I can think of one way around that which doesn’t involve micromanaging what people eat.

      1. Yeah, I would imagine there to be some sort of solution out there – perhaps something that allowed people to eat what they want, and then, and I’m just thinking out loud here, made them foot the bill for their medical expenses…

        If only there were some kind of publication that could, on an almost hourly basis, explore and report on what that kind of system might be like.

        Oh well, gotta get back to my 1040.

        1. The rules aren’t clear on this one, is this a “drink!” or not?

    3. It might sound nice to just let everyone eat what they want, but eventually society’s going to have to pay for their hospital visits and lost productivity. Eating yourself sick and depriving society of the tax revenue you would have paid if you were still able to work is tantamount to stealing.

      Suck my maple-syrup drenched, batter-dipped, deep-fried, salt-encrusted corn dog if you genuinenly believe that.

  4. capped at 3,100 renewable two-year permits and 1,000 seasonal permits.

    4100 vendors for 8.175mil residents.

    1994 customers per vendor. Assuming they’re open 24hrs a day, that’s 83 customers per hour.

    I hope it takes less than a minute to serve each one…enjoy your lines New Yorkers! At least you’ve got the Son Of Flying Pig to make the lines more bearable.

    (yeah, yeah, not everyone eats from the carts. But wikipedia’s pop figure for NYC probably doesn’t include the illegals, right? So my math is useless anyway.)

  5. Is KFL doing anything about the arbitrary bans on eating certain species? I want horsemeat!

    1. Is there actually a law against selling horsemeat? I figured it just had no market here in the US, kinda like goat. Also like goat, don’t we raises horses to sell to other countries for eatin purposes?

      1. Nope. It actually is illegal to raise horses for meat. Not sure if it is federal, but I think it is pretty universal. Same is true for cats and dogs. By all accounts cat and dog are pretty nasty, but I’ve had horse and it’s actually pretty good. In any case, just because many people have a soft spot for certain species is not a good reason to forbid everyone from eating them. No one is going to make you eat your horse.

        1. I thought the (native american) Indians often set fire to the fields to deny the cavalry fodder for their mounts, in many cases forcing them to eat their horses.

        2. I think you can raise horses for meat but you would have to export them for slaughter as there are no horse abattoirs open in the United States.
          Congress passed a ban on slaughtering horses but IIRC it was never voted on in the Senate. Possession of horsemeat w/o a USDA stamp is a felony in FL.
          Needless to say, there is no USDA-stamped horsemeat.

      2. Don’t tell this goat-meat lover there’s no market. They make kid dishes at Indian restaurants and it’s pretty popular.

        I would buy kid at the supermarket if I could find it anywhere.

        “Keep Food Legal”…I like it.

        1. Don’t tell this goat-meat lover there’s no market.

          That was the point of my “kinda” qualifier in regards to goat.

  6. Say your a zombie and need to eat brains to survive.
    Say you go to congress…and than you starve. But I repeat myself.

    1. “your” and “than”, quite an accomplishment for such a short post.

  7. Externalities.

    Now do you realize why we support the drug war? If we legalize drugs, we’re essentially giving the green light to unhealthful behavior. Behavior which has externalities in healthcare.

    Control your nation’s healthcare, control your nation’s people.

  8. It sounds like they’re making a mish-mash of various separate and discrete regulatory concerns — animal cruelty, food safety, food health, and stimulant drugs.

    Just interposing the same justification for opposing every reg — “it’s only food so, like, back off, man!” — won’t work.

    They need to develop substantive policy responses on each of the areas of regulatory concern.

    Most food health concerns (trans fat) can be addressed with proper labeling, rather than prohibitions.

    Food safety is harder, especially with foods likely to be served to young kids (like raw milk), but appropriate labeling can go a long way.

    Stimulant drugs is just part of the larger drug war fight, and much has already been said about that.

    Animal cruelty can usually be handled by regulating production conditions, rather than banning the end product. Foie gras, for instance, can be produced by methods consistent with a bird’s natural instinct to gorge on food, without resorting to inhumane methods of confinement.

    As for cultural norms like not making a major industry of meat from cats or dogs or horses, that involves a value judgment about the treatment of animals, which turns on ‘first principles’ about where animals and humans stand in relation to one another. Unless you want to open the door to eating primates, you have to draw the line somewhere.

    1. A lot of libertarian organization shoot themselves in the foot by taking absolutist positions on things like this. They had me up until foie gras, but I refuse to support any org with a pro-cruelty agenda. The perfect is the enemy of the good.

      1. What if I were to, I don’t know, shoot a duck right before it started it seasonal migration? Oh that right you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        Leaving chickens in 2’x 2′ pens their entire lives is less “cruel” than force feeding free range ducks for the 8 months out of the year they wouldn’t force feed themselves in preparation of migration?

        Pick a principled position of why it’s bad to not treat animals like children when your going to kill them during adolescence and eat them anyways and get back to me.

        1. “Oh that right you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

          Rather, we don’t know what you’re talking about. You wanna clarify for people who don’t have a ten-year subscription to Field & Stream? Or do you just want to pose like some big know-it-all?

      2. I thought libertarianism in toto was the pro-cruelty position?

        1. The bees are enslaved and forced to make honey for the slavemasters!

      3. You don’t have to support the org but if you support the prohibition fuck off.
        You’re no better than any other authoritarian prohibitionist.

    2. Jesus Fucking Christ!

      What the hell is wrong with eating primates? It isn’t really a concern in the US as we have no native species and raising monkey meat would be cost prohibitive (nevermind the lack of a significant market). Do you think it is wrong for people, who live where primates are abundant, to hunt and eat them? Where’s your cultural relativism and tolerance?

  9. ‘We believe that every American should have the right to grow…’

    Should have the right? Or do have the right but are too fucking stupid to defend it?

  10. Surly: (ahem) I’ve eaten animals that I’ve personally known, and their eggs, since circa 1960, thanks. I don’t like factory farming either but that’s not a winnable battle. Pragmatism and all.

    SIV: No, I don’t support the prohibition but scold the pro-cruelty people every chance I can. Thanks for unloading on me before you got all the info.

    1. Thanks for unloading on me before you got all the info.

      You’re Welcome 😉

      Scold away, I’ll pack some foies gras in a picnic basket at the next cockfight.

  11. Completely agree. Americans should have the opportunity to buy food of their choosing, even if it is unhealthy.


  12. Sorry, the Commerce Clause allows Congress to regulate what you put in your mouth, excluding genitalia.

  13. The fastest way to a statist’s rational mind is through their stomach?

  14. That Goodness we have laws to protect me from you idiots.

    Do you want to erase the lines on the road and remove stop signs?

    Stay in your homes, plz.

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