When the colonists first “fired the shot heard ‘round the world” on April 19, 1775, they were striking a blow against a far-away government that was making decisions about their day-to-day lives. In Maine, on March 5th of this year, the first shot in another revolution was fired in the name of food freedom: http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/sedgewick-maine-passes-revolutionary-food-freedom-ordinance/. Maine is resurrecting the time-honored tradition of the original American Federalists, who believed in small national government and local control.
The regulations which govern small local food producers and people cooking things in their home kitchens—whether for sale or for such activities as church bake sales—are not only ridiculous, they are carefully crafted to be so onerous as to prevent or shut down small startup operations. I suspect they are written this way deliberately, by bureaucrats who have no connection with local food supplies but lots of connections with the Monsantos, Archer Daniels Midland and similar industrial food producers of the world. The theory seems to be that if you make things hard enough on the small producer, he or she will give up and go out of business or not even get started, leaving the field to the big operations, who bring you hybridized, pesticide and herbicide laden, cellophane packaged food “products” which have been heavily processed and shipped thousands of miles from the point of origin to your local grocery.
The folks in Sedgwick have apparently decided they are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it any more—they’re fighting back, with the Local Food and Self-Governance Ordinance. The ordinance allows local producers and processors to sell their wares to their friends and neighbors without licensing or inspection. This includes raw milk, meats butchered at home and foods produced in the home kitchen. What I love best about the Sedgwick manifesto is their statement that they feel confident people are capable of making their own choices about food and that government interference in those choices is unwarranted. “We have faith in our citizens’ ability to educate themselves and make informed decisions… we hold that federal and state regulations impede local food production and constitute a usurpation of our citizens’ right to foods of their choice.” Imagine that–a bold statement that Joe and Jane Average Citizen are possessed of discerning judgment and common sense!
Three other Maine towns are considering the same ordinance, and you can easily adapt it for your own town. Just think about it—raw milk loaded with enzymes and nutrients, raw milk cheeses, jams, jellies, grass-raised beef, free range chickens, real farm eggs and fresh vegetables. Not only will they taste better, you will know exactly where they come from. And the dollars you spend will stay in the local economy. So gather some like-minded friends and get cracking—this is one revolution that you really don’t want to miss!