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Utah food freedom: What products should I make now?  RSS feed

 
gardener
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Perhaps the most famous line from farmer Joel Salatin is, "Everything I want to do is illegal".  I have often felt the same way: Handicapped as a farmer, because I could only sell the output of my garden as raw vegetables, and not as value added products like pickles, bread, soup, jam, meat, kraut, etc.

I wonder if the Utah legislature was listening to Joel? This week, sweeping food freedom legislation became law. It may make it much easier for farmers in Utah to make an income. The exemptions even extend to poultry and rabbits. Separate legislation made raw milk sales much easier. The legislation exempts "food producers from licensing, permitting, certification, inspection, packaging, and labeling requirements for food that is produced and sold within Utah, sold directly to its consumer for home use, and labeled to indicate that the food has not been inspected and may not be resold."

Utah Raw Milk and Homemade Food Bills Now Law

Letter to the Editor: Lawmakers did the right thing removing regulatory burden on selling homemade food

So now that it is legal for me to make value added products, what should I start producing? What is likely to sell well? What sorts of home produced foods would you like to buy?
 
pollinator
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Outstanding!

Perhaps it's just my bias and blindspot, but I wouldn't have expected for this kind of legislation to come out of Utah.  Good for them!  What we need now is for a number of other states to copy what they've done and for this to spread like a movement.  Kill the USDA.  Food freedom! 
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Because of the history of how Utah was settled, it has a very strong libertarian sentiment. The legislation passed unanimously in the state senate, and at 90% in the house.

Yesterday, just about all of the black market food that I have been buying became legal. Therefore, I'm not hanging out with criminals any more. LOL. I already have a supplier in mind from which to make my first legal unregulated food purchase. I bet she frames the $5 that I give her. I'm intending to frame the $ that I get from my first legal sale of an unlicensed value added product.

I already made a demonstration label for my first sale, which complies with the new law. In actual practice, I'm likely to include a list of ingredients.

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Label complying with Utah's new food freedom law
 
pollinator
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My mom is in northern Arizona, miles from Utah, and the whole region is very much a "get your government claws out of my freedom and rights!" kind of place. It's great to hear another place is giving back freedom of choice in food production and consumption.

It's a concern of mine that as population grows and becomes concentrated, more and more rules are put in place to either keep everyone within the narrow band of "the norm", e.g. HOA rules, or to satisfy a wide array of special interests that either have money to make or protect via the status quo.

I hope that communities and states/nations can scale back some of this overbearing control of our basics like food and housing, and let more natural methods of living develop. It concerns me that it will only get worse for some more years, as people try to rely on science to "make a magic fix" to treat symptoms, rather than fix the problem. At the very least I hope to redesign my life on my own land to be low impact and higher on the Wheaton Scale. We can try to lead by example, and having changes in laws to make our examples legal is a welcome step.
 
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Similarly, Utah also just passed a "Free Range Parenting" law, (https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/05/08/free-to-roam-utahs-first-of-its-kind-free-range-parenting-law-takes-effect/)

Salt Lake Tribune wrote:Believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the law attempts to prevent parents from being prosecuted under child-neglect statutes for simply allowing mature kids with good judgment to do things alone — provided they are otherwise cared for and are “of sufficient age and maturity.”



Go Utah!
 
pollinator
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Marco Banks wrote:Kill the USDA. 



I hope not... 

I think there has to be more balance for sure and that the Utah law is a good thing,  Individuals should be able to make choices about what they want, but on the larger scale, with commercial production, I want USDA oversight.  "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater."  We tend to forget the reasons laws often are created - and that is most often because individuals or businesses or corporations failed to do the right thing on their own in the first place.  It would be great if everyone behaved responsibly, but we know that is not reality.

I would never live somewhere there was an HMO, but having had some neighbors in the past who damaged the property values of everyone around them and knowing how large the investment in a home is to most people, I understand the appeal they have for many.  There is generally an opportunity to become more involved in the HMO rulemaking process that those who complain the loudest never take advantage of.  As with most local politics and local laws.  Those who do the most complaining generally don't participate in the process.  Democracy is hard work but better than the alternatives I am aware of.

Anyway, until we develop and get everyone to take the magical ethics pill that gets everyone to behave in the best interest of all, I want the USDA around.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Dakota Brown wrote:I want the USDA around.



The new Utah law is written specifically to deny jurisdiction to the USDA. Other than winking and saying that poultry and rabbit processing will be done in sanitary conditions as recommended by USDA.
 
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Dakota Brown wrote:I want the USDA around.



The new Utah law is written specifically to deny jurisdiction to the USDA. Other than winking and saying that poultry and rabbit processing will be done in sanitary conditions as recommended by USDA.


You're both right.

The USDA has no business getting it's claws into a direct-to-consumer transaction (as this law enforces) but it is of critical importance in regulating the factory farms we are still cursed with in the main food supply.

The day factory farms go away is the day we no longer need a USDA.
 
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This is some of the best news I've heard in a while.
 
Marco Banks
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Dakota Brown wrote:I want the USDA around.



The new Utah law is written specifically to deny jurisdiction to the USDA. Other than winking and saying that poultry and rabbit processing will be done in sanitary conditions as recommended by USDA.


You're both right.

The USDA has no business getting it's claws into a direct-to-consumer transaction (as this law enforces) but it is of critical importance in regulating the factory farms we are still cursed with in the main food supply.

The day factory farms go away is the day we no longer need a USDA.



That simple fact is that government agencies do everything in their power to maintain their importance.  Do you honestly believe that the USDA will do anything to decrease the number of factory farms and help the independent small processor?  No government agency has EVER recommended policy that would ultimately lead to the closure of their agency.  Just the opposite: they regulate and regulate more and more, thus providing themselves eternal standing.

I've read and watched too much Joel Salatin.  The USDA has a bias against the small-time producer, making it virtually impossible to open a animal processing facility or any number of other common sense small enterprise food production. 

I'd simply want a store/co-op where producers can sell their wares to consumers who are willing to accept any risk inherent in purchasing their food at that store.  I'd sign a waver: "I promise that I will not sue if this loaf of bread or this home cured ham should make me sick."  A USDA-free zone where I'd be encouraged to get to know the people who are growing the food I'd buy, raising and slaughtering the chickens, making the sausage . . .      If I choose to drink unpasteurized milk, that's on me.  If I get sick because of it, that's on me.

Would the USDA approve of such a concept?  No.  So it will have to be a state-by-state social movement.  Force them to try to shut such stores down—and watch the lawsuit that follows.  Ultimately, it would be decided by the Supreme Court, which, in its current configuration, would agree that the consumer has the right to eat what they want.
 
pollinator
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My grand parents continued to seek out raw milk after they emigrated from the south.
This continued until my grand mother lost multiple pregnancies to listeria.
She switched to pasteurized milk, and my Uncle Larry came to term.
Back home, that connection would never had been made.
Miscarriage and infant death were unremarkable, and certainly wouldn't have been associated with an undetectable pathogen.

The invisible hand fails when it is blinded. This is true no matter if the blindness is due to ignorance or purposeful deceit.
The milk my grand father brought home to his wife was from someone he knew.
My grand father was a man who knew live stock, who knew farming.
He was not , however , well versed in germ theory, nor did he have the knowledge or  means to inspect this milk for listeria.

I want there to be options for unregulated commerce of all kinds. But I wouldn't want to end the regulation of food entirely.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I continue to celebrate freedom by working on this project.
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I had a dentist who told me that his family had a potato chip farm. He said they couldn't make money raising potatoes so they shifted to selling sliced potatoes for the chip industry. That story is maybe 30 years old.

I also remember the story of the grape grower in California who also had a raisin business. The guvment was telling him he couldn't grow more than x numbers of grapes, but he needed enough to satisfy the business requirements. So he fought the guvment and won. I might have this story backwards, because I think it was raisins they were controlling. But what does a farmer do with the grapes that he's not allowed to dry for raisins. You got the vines, they produce grapes. It's not like you can plant less grape seeds which will come ripe this season.

 
Nicole Alderman
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote: What products should I make now?



Hmmm, maybe roasted/salted sunflower seeds? People like snacks when they're at the farmers market, especially if they have kids with them. When we go to the farmers market, even if we don't really buy much, we always buy some sort of snack or treat, especially now that we have kids. A packet of landrace, organic sunflower seeds would be a perfect little snack--healthy but still tasty and easy for us to hold and not too messy.
 
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Pickled beets !
Popcorn ?
Kimchi
Sweet Bavarian sauerkraut
 
 
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In the area where we live, anything fermented seems to tickle people's interest at the farmer's markets. There is a vendor who has a nice set-up with 5 or 6 choices. Some are spicy, some aren't, and he always has samples available. He does quite well.
 
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