Food Freedom

He Wanted To Make Some Money for School Clothes by Selling Mexican Street Corn. The Government Says He Owes $1,415 in Permit Fees.

"I just wanted to help out my community and family," said Miguel Lozano.

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When high school sophomore Miguel Lozano started selling elotes—Mexican street corn—he hoped to use the money he made to buy clothes for school. The Yamhill County, Oregon, teenager will have to put that goal aside, though, because last week the local government shuttered his makeshift cart.

Though Lozano already has a food service card, he will need to come up with $1,415 for a permit should he want to continue his small operation. The stratospheric cost would deter many would-be entrepreneurs, much less a teenager who just wants to sell corn on the cob for a few extra bucks.

Enforcing health standards "is their duty," Lozano told a local NBC affiliate. "The problem with that is that they're not going to stop a kid from selling lemonade."

Lozano might be surprised to know that in many places, health inspectors would do just that. Jurisdictions across the country have cracked down on kids' lemonade stands for operating sans permit. Just last year, Colorado and Texas both legalized lemonade stands run by children, which is a sentence no one should have to write.

A woman who set up a free food pantry in Asotin County, Washington, has not been as fortunate as entrepreneurial children in Texas and Colorado. Kathy Hay's makeshift charity was squashed after the county caught wind of it. If she continued to collect food for the needy without the proper licensing, they said, they would press criminal charges.

"The ideal outcome would be for the county to let me and anybody else who would like to have a little free pantry to be able to open one up without being afraid that they're going to be charged with criminal behavior," Hay told me in April.

Lozano offered a similar sentiment in a Facebook post. "I just wanted to help out my community and family," he wrote. "But we all know how this world is."

NEXT: Jo Jorgensen on Black Lives Matter: 'I Think We Should Support the Protesters'

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    1. You can make it at home. It’s easy. I do it probably twice a week.

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        1. That’s a terrible recipe for elote.

  4. Dear Antifa,

    Please torch the Yamhill County Environmental Health building.

    Regards,

    America.

    1. Yamhill County prevented this kid from acquiring evil profit. They’re on Antfa’s side, inasmuch as they have one.

    2. How disappointing that you would feel comfortable enough to post this here.

      BTW, what state and town are you from Jeb Kerman?

  5. So what exactly does the $1415 get him? It seems a corn cart shouldn’t take more than about 5 minutes to inspect, surely there’s not $1415 worth of time involved here. So what’s the $1415 paying for? Does the inspections department regularly take in $40 or 50 million in fees, is it financing the whole damn county, is it simply a “you got money, give it here” extortion racket where the fees charged have nothing whatsoever to do with the costs of the service provided?

    1. Just an example of how monopolies artificially inflate prices. Too bad there’s no competing organization for health-inspecting his food cart.

    2. Why does it cost me $130 every two years to put a sticker on my license plate? fytw

    3. It takes time to inspect a commercial kitchen. (What? You don’t have a commercial kitchen? Well you’re going to have to get one if you want to sell food around here!)

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  6. Given the loss of tax revenue from the state and county COVID ordinances I’d say that’s why.

    One more thing to remember when you vote. Who’s running Oregon and why one party rule sucks.

  7. This is why progressives hate small businesses- running one (or trying to, anyway) makes it absolutely clear to the owner what government is all about.

    And we can’t have that, now can we?

  8. DeKalb should pull a Country Time and pay his license fees lol

  9. “Government is just a word for the things we all do together.”

  10. So an important point because you need the data and those look amazing. Corn is one thing we have a lot of here. Fresh and local stuff.

    I have never had it this way so going to have to try it.

    Here is how you make it.

    corn on the cob
    mayonnaise
    plain yogurt, sour cream, or Mexican crema
    grated cotija cheese
    garlic
    lime zest
    lime juice
    ancho chile powder
    salt
    cilantro
    lime wedges
    HOW TO MAKE ELOTE

    Prep: Husk your ears of corn and remove all of the silk. Snap off the ends or shanks of each cob.
    Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat until hot. You need a hot pan so that when you add in the corn, it starts to char immediately.
    Char: Add the ears of corn to the hot skillet and cook them for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until they are charred all around. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
    Mix: In the meantime, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, ½ cup grated cotija, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, ancho chile powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk everything until it is thoroughly combined.
    Add: Set aside 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro for serving. Add the rest to the mayonnaise mixture and whisk it in to combine.
    Coat: Remove the ears of corn from the skillet. Using a pair of tongs, pick up the corn, one by one, and roll them each in the mayonnaise mixture.
    Serve: Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish corn with more cotija, a sprinkle of ancho chile powder, and the reserved cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

    Just looking it makes me think anyone who would prevent someone from selling that is a crazed power hungry lunatic who hates everything good and wonderful in the world.

    1. I just use mayo, lime juice, chili powder, and american grana. Leave that husk on and grill over charcoal. When the husk is burned it’s good to go. Spread the mayo, sprinkle the cheese, dust it with chili powder, then sprinkle with a bit of lime (optional).

      1. Thanks. Gonna try it.

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  12. Now that fucker knows what it’s like to live in the land of the free.

  13. Next time wrap it in Black Lives Matter tin foil.

    Do I have to think of everything?

  14. I thought libertarians supported user fees over taxes?

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  17. I don’t get it. Is Reason proposing that likable people are just exempt from inconvenient laws?

    1. Essentially yes. Par for the course for Reason, the retarded argument Billy Binion is making here is either all of the other food cart vendors who followed their obligations like responsible, normal people and paid their fees should be shafted because of this poor immigrant kid, OR local government having the power to ensure food is not going to make masses of people ill should not exist at all/be handled by unaccountable private companies, which is not a serious position.

      1. Yes, you can not feed yourself without government approval.

        Imagine the chaos that would ensue if I thought I could purchase an ear of corn for my own consumption.

        Next thing you know, I might even demand to vote.

  18. I still don’t know how government allowed UBER to replace taxis without any licensing fees.

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  21. I’ll bet if he goes back to Mexico to sell his corn he won’t need a liscense.

  22. “Though Lozano already has a food service card, he will need to come up with $1,415 for a permit should he want to continue his small operation. The stratospheric cost would deter many would-be entrepreneurs, much less a teenager who just wants to sell corn on the cob for a few extra bucks.”

    Government (backed by Brick & Mortar Restaurants): Nice corn stand ya got there Pedro. Real shame if something bad were to happen to it…

  23. Sounds like a case for the Institute for Justice, IJ.org. They fight occupational licensing laws.

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  25. Obviously, the Children’s Lemonade Stand is an oppressive patriarchal invention. They must be crushed with punitive fees for daring to think for themselves.

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