Food Nullification: The Sequel


Maine towns may be adopting food sovereignty laws, but their state government says it won't join them:

Not this legislative session. Maybe next year.

Sponsored by Rep. Walter Kumiega, LD 366 was rejected by the Ag Committee on May 11. The raw milk bill would have obviated licensing for the direct sale from farmer to consumer and protected small operations from overly burdensome rules recently imposed at the bureaucratic level.

"Requiring someone with two cows or a handful of goats to invest ten thousand dollars or more to build an inspectable facility doesn't make economic sense," Kumiega told Food Freedom. "Hand milking is a perfectly acceptable method and does not need the same facilities that a machine milking operation does. LD 366 seeks to restore an exemption that was a standard practice up until two years ago, when it was changed by an administrative decision."…

Also sponsored by Rep. Kumiega, LD 330, "An Act To Exempt Farm Food Products and Homemade Food Offered for Sale or for Consumption at Certain Events from Certain Licensing Requirements," died in committee on April 7th.

The second bill would have repealed rules requiring potluck suppers, bake sales, and the like to follow the same regulatory requirements as full-time food vendors.

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  1. I wonder how many people actually follow those rules now? I’m betting that many violate them simply because they don’t think anybody would be stupid enough to require permits for a bake sale or inspection for a small family farm in the first place.

  2. I have a neighbor that keeps a small quantity of chickens which, it turns out, produce way more eggs than this couple can eat in a week, so they share with those of us in the neighborhood that are willing to take the extras. No money changes hands so it isn’t, strictly speaking, an economic transaction, but I think we had best keep our mouths shut in case one of the State busybodies is alerted to get involved to help us.

    1. You aren’t buying eggs that you normally would have, so the federal government can step in and stop your neighbor because of the Commerce Clause.

      \liberal logic

      1. Does that even count as “liberal” any more? Conservatives pay lip service to the Commerce Clause, but when the subject of regulation is teh Drugz, suddenly the CC is expanding once again.

        1. Oh, they’ll get theirs as well, but as a justification for Obamacare, the liberals are the ones getting yelled at right now.

  3. When do I get my govt food rations? I am salivating with anticipation of their tasty AND nutritious qualities…

    1. NPR replayed an episode of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me this weekend with Michael Pollan. I LOL’ed at his use of the term “Edible food-like substances” as applied to the modern industrial diet created in part through government policy: the truth is often funnier than canned jokes.

      1. Gubment cheese makes great spackling.

  4. Food freedom also appears to be coming to, of all places, Oakland.

  5. You can have my white, delicious, milky liquid when you lick it off of my cold dead fingers…uh, that doesn’t come across as i meant

    1. OK, you can have my milk when you pull it out of my big milk engorged teats…
      hmmm, that’s not right either…

    2. It didn’t “come” across as you meant it ?

  6. i’m not sure what the laws are here in WA, but I do know a # of relatively small farms sell beef to end consumers.

    i’m getting a side of beef this summer

    i prefer grass fed for the taste, nutritional value, and i think it’s less injurious to the environment AND the cows than grain fed. I can just buy a whole side and be done with it.

    it’s pretty economical, and it averages out about $4.00 a lb for the meat, which of course is a combination of elite cuts, as well as hamburger, etc.

    and i know where it comes from, how the cows are treated, and etc.

    1. I like pigs…when they’re fried in butter in a pan.

      1. i like dolphins… on rye bread with some mayonnaise – cartman

  7. Are these food sovereignty laws going to result in food sovereigns acting like the sovereign citizens as maligned by 60 minutes last night?

    1. They’ll just type up a Certificate of Agricultural Sovereignty, from the Moorish Sovereign Nationicity, and sign it in red crayon. Should be sufficient to stop any meddling bureaucrat, but if it doesn’t they can always file a lien against his cow.

  8. Wow, talk about nanny state. I can’t believe the legislature has even applied these laws in such a way.


  9. I wouldn’t drink raw milk if you paid me to, but just for the record, the government having regulated milk production makes me feel no safer about drinking milk.

    Actually, when I buy dairy, I pay through the nose for stuff that’s been produced without hormones…

    But then I care about my sexual performance, so maybe I’m in the minority here.

    Regardless, it’s entrepreneurs making twice as much money from me for doing it without hormones that makes me feel safer about the milk I drink.

    The hormones in regular milk? The government lets parents feed that shit to children!

    1. i agree that hormones (specifically IGF) in milk is problematic. the science is strong on that. hormones as relates to meat – completely benign imo, and based on the science.

      from a health perspective, I could not care less if hormones are used in beef cattle, but milk cows? heck no

      1. Yeah!

        And the government lets them do that!

        If being regulated by the government means the dairy industry gets to dump hormones into millions of America’s children by the gallon?

        Then what’s the upside of government regulation again?

        I don’t need the government to tell me not to drink the hormones–the regulators let dairy farmers put in most people’s milk. So why would I need the government to tell me not to drink raw milk?

        The solution to my food problems has nothing to do with more government regulation. Considering the impact hormones have on many of us, it looks more like government regulation itself is a threat to public health–if it gives us a false sense of security.

        1. i am all for govt. regulation, but primarily in the form of required notification. iow, mandating that sellers say whether hormones are or aren’t used. that doesn’t eliminate choice or freedom from me (and others… except for the company which has a very minor inconvenience of changing their label), it simply expands my information while still keeping me as the locus of control and of choice.

          nutrition labeling, food labeling, drug labeling, etc. – for it.

          regulation? there must be a compelling reason. for example, there is a compelling reason not to allow (as an absurd example) corned beef to have 1 gram of strichnine in it.

          i was of course against the 4 loko ban. it’s CLEARLY labeled what’s in it, and both alcohol and caffeine are (currently at least) legal. let the consumer decide.

          1. how about an underwriter’s laboratory for food? I mean, where would we be if the federal government didn’t regulate lightbulb manufacturers from making models that didn’t explode?

          2. I have a severe allergic reaction to legumes. That means peanuts, but even harder to avoid? That means soy.

            I choose every day whether to eat something unlabeled in a restaurant? …and maybe lose half a pint of blood.

            Do you have any idea what the government trying to get rid of trans-fats has done to my health? Everybody is switching to soy. You can’t buy bread in regular groceries that doesn’t have soybean oil in it anymore.

            But there are whole grocery stores who cater to people just like me–Whole Foods marks everything with whether it has soy. Including their prepared foods! Including their baked goods!

            The government has done more harm to me with their nutrition guidelines and regulation than said guidelines or regulation has ever done to help me.

            Entrepreneurs like Whole Foods, on the other hand, have made a fortune by solving the problems of people like me! They do it because they can charge a hell of a lot more to customers like me because they label their products so well–and I love them for it. That’s way better than the FDA letting people hide ingredients behind labels like “natural flavor”.

            The government has created problems for me and eliminated choice by pushing food companies to convert to things like soy oil. Entrepreneurs have solved problems for me by making my choices proliferate–without any urging from government.

            And it’s the idea that the government is helping the situation that’s part of the problem. Regulation by definition limits people’s choices–I don’t need fewer choices.

            I don’t want the government’s help. I’ve lost blood because of the government’s help.

            1. i agree. but LABELING does not limit people’s choices. thus, it is a form of regulation I am generally in favor of.

              we, as consumers, have never had greater choice in regards to

              1) food (far more variety available now)
              2) media
              3) beer (microbrews and thanks to jimmy carter of all people – homebrews)

              than we have ever had at any point in history.

              labeling, as a form of regulation does NOT limit choice.

              1. “labeling, as a form of regulation does NOT limit choice.”

                So where’s the hormone labeling on milk?

                Does “natural flavor” contain peanuts, soy sauce or snake venom?

                Those are all “natural flavors”.

                Why is it that when I go to a food manufacturer’s site to check to see if something has soy in it, they sometimes show an asterisk on the list of ingredients telling me that the FDA has determined that soy lecithin doesn’t contain allergens?

                …even on products that supposedly don’t contain soy!

                If labeling gives people a false sense of security–it does limit choice.

                I’m pretty much stuck with eating whatever I can make myself–if I want to be safe–because I can’t trust the government’s labeling.

                1. except that’s not responsive to my comment. what it gives people is INFORMATION. and yes, i think hormones should be labeled if they are used with dairy cows.

                  but this is simply a completely bogus statement”If labeling gives people a false sense of security–it does limit choice”

                  that’s complete doublespeak rubbish

                  again, adding a label to a food product does NOT limit my choice. i can choose to buy it or not.

                  period. that’s the point

                  sometimes i want crap food, and i eat it. the label telling me it has (god forbid) transfats isn’t going to stop me – if i want it badly enough. it’s MY CHOICE

                2. oh also, aside from my objections in my other post, the rest of your post devolves into a perfect being the enemy of the good argument. nobody said labeling is perfect or all-inclusive. you imply that if it doesn’t give YOU the exact info YOU want on every product, then it has no value.

                  at it’s most basic level, it adds value.

                  it gives me more information i would have than if the food simply had a repo-man generic label on it e.g. “FOOD”

                  1. “except that’s not responsive to my comment. what it gives people is INFORMATION.”

                    It gives them false information!

                    It doesn’t tell consumers what they need to know anyway.

                    It gives foods suppliers like corporate dairies the cover to use stuff that’s bad for people–and tricks consumers into thinking they’re not getting bad stuff!

                    That is vastly inferior to the capitalists out there who label the stuff their product doesn’t have in it–so they have a competitive advantage.

                    A government system that purposely gives people false information–and a false sense of security about what they eat?!

                    And do you know why the FDA lets food companies and dairies get away with that? It’s because they’re responsive to special interests like dairy farmers. That’s what having the government involved means–making themselves responsive to special interests.

                    That’s why I like the products at Whole Foods–they cater to my interest. The consumer’s interest reigns supreme over there!

                    At least it used to. Now the FDA seems to have involved itself in organic produce as well. It used to be that when a grower said their product was “organic”, that meant they didn’t use pesticide, etc…

                    Now my understanding is that the FDA says you can call something “organic”, so long as you don’t use genetically modified seeds! Why am I seeing “organic” things that have soy in them? Soy is processed with industrial strength solvents.

                    Of all the things that concern me about my food? Genetically modified seeds are the least of my worries. If the average consumer thinks “organic” just means they didn’t use genetically modified seeds? Then how much is the FDA to blame for that confusion?

  10. Why do so many people confuse “reigns” and “reins”?????

    The government reigns. The new leaders take the reins of government.

    You rein in spending (hopefully). If you’re a monarch in waiting, you reign when you ascend to the throne.

    1. this is the internet. i’d be happy if people could get “lose” and “loose” correctly. and darn those people who won’t CapItaLIze!

  11. The Greater Pittsburgh Gun Club got shut down partly on a county health violation–they were found to be preparing food for guests without proper sanitation procedures, blah, blah, blah.

    Not to say that the operator (“Tex”) was completely above board–he got busted for something by the ATF as well–but the health code “violation” was one of nails in the coffin. Of course, the real culprit was some assholes who had bought property near the club (which had been there for decades) and didn’t like the noise.

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