Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) hail from opposing parties, but frequently come together on issues of individual liberty, particularly when agriculture is involved. The two of them have previously teamed up to craft legislation to try to end, or at least loosen, federal bans on growing hemp.
The two of them recently came together in a restaurant in Denver, Colorado, for a little stunt promoting food freedom. The two of them ate a meal with steak, eggs, and raw milk that had never been inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Part of their goal was to promote the PRIME Act (Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption) Act that would end the USDA's stranglehold over how meat is processed within states. States would be able to set up their own rules and permit more custom slaughtering to better meet the needs of both consumers and farmers (Keep Food Legal's Baylen Linnekin detailed the importance of the legislation here at Reason earlier in the month). The two of them were also there to promote the freedom to consume kombucha, the fermented tea that has been targeted by agencies that control alcohol distribution.
The two of them told 9 News in Denver this was anti-capitalist meddling:
"We think people should be able to go to a farmer's market, and if a farmer there raised cattle and wants to sell it, they should be able to," [Polis] said. "In a way, it's restricting capitalism, restricting free enterprise, to say totally legal. You can give it to people, you can share it with people, but the minute there's money involved, it's a federal crime."
The other issue is milk. The congressmen are pushing the "Milk Freedom Act" and the "Milk Interstate Freedom Act." They believe raw milk, which can be legally sold in some form in 29 states (It's illegal to sell raw milk in Colorado and Kentucky), should be legal nationwide, arguing that it's healthier.
"There was a rash of problems with milk, back before there was refrigeration. I mean, think about this: raw milk used to be delivered on a truck to your house. And that's because people didn't have refrigerators," Rep. Massie said. "I mean, we have lots of technology that can allow us to consume, safely, the foods we've consumed for thousands of years."
Read more or watch the video here (warning: autoplay).