Chewing on food regulations


Millie Cooper and son (Kerry Huller, Casper Star-Tribune)

By Joshua Wolfson
Billings Gazette

CASPER, WY — Millie Copper doesn’t buy much food from the grocery store. She feeds her family with eggs and meat from chickens she raises on her property in rural Natrona County, or with produce and grains from a natural foods supplier. The mother of five also prefers raw milk, but doesn’t have enough land for her own dairy cow. Instead, she pays room and board for an animal that lives elsewhere, and in exchange, gets fresh milk.

Wyoming prohibits such arrangements, but Copper doesn’t have another option for buying fresh milk, which she believes is healthier and more humane.

“My only other option is to drive to Colorado,” she said. “And I just can’t do that with a baby. And I don’t think I should have to drive four-plus hours to get milk.”

Copper isn’t alone. A group of Wyomingites are pushing to ease restrictions on the sale of home-produced foods, including raw milk and meat. Proponents of the Wyoming Food Freedom movement argue that consumers should be able to purchase whatever foods they like, without government oversight.

“I would like to be able to feed my family the foods I think they should eat and not what other people tell me I should eat,” Copper said.

Some regulators worry that loosening the rules could result in people getting sick. The state’s food safety regulations protect consumers by requiring that food is produced in a clean, healthy manner, they say.

Read full post at Billings Gazette

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