Deregulate Dinner

The "food sovereignty" movement is determined to wrest food production & sales from both government and corporate control.


Edwin Remsberg / VWPics/Newscom

Maine recently considered a constitutional amendment making it an "inalienable" right for residents to hunt, gather, farm, or barter for whatever food they choose. The measure passed the state House but failed to get enough votes in the Senate.

This isn't the last proposal of its kind we can expect to see, however. The "food sovereignty" movement, as its advocates have taken to calling it, is determined to wrest food production and sales from both government and corporate control. So far, statewide ordinances (including a recent measure in Utah) have mostly failed, but the movement has had success getting local resolutions passed.

One exception is Wyoming, which in 2015 became the first state to pass a wide-ranging food sovereignty law deregulating many types of direct-to-consumer food sales. A year in, the move has been a "roaring success," Republican state Rep. Tyler Lindholm, a co-sponsor, told Reason in April. "None of the illness[es] that were prophesized to take place upon passage of the bill" have broken out.

Colorado may be the next state to follow suit. In March, a bill allowing small poultry farmers and home cooks who peddle non-refrigerated wares to sell directly to the public passed the legislature. It awaits the governor's signature.