Keeping the Church Potluck Legal and Free

Here’s an intelligent discussion of the burgeoning food sovereignty movement in the U.S., especially the comments by Deborah Evans, a Maine farmer who was instrumental in these ordinances being raised in Sedgwick, Penobscot, Blue Hill and Brooksville. Keep in mind PA Church Ladies Raided by ‘Food Safety’ Cops back in 2009; and all the raids on the raw dairy industry since then (detailed in David Gumpert’s book, The Raw Milk Revolution). It’s nice to see Progressives discussing this issue, even if still caught up in the fear of Libertarians. Rather than anti-government, food sovereignty laws are more anti-corporate. ~Ed. [Image: Maine food rights activists Liz Solet, Deborah Evans, Larissa Curlik, Heather Retberg, and Kevin Ross, by David Gumpert]

By Kyle Curtis
Blue Oregon

You probably missed it, but the opening salvo of a nation-wide food revolution may have been fired on March 5th, 2011. Or maybe not. It all kinda sorta depends on how you view these things.

You see, on that Saturday morning, the town of Sedgwick, Maine became the first in the nation to pass a “food sovereign” ordinance. This ordinance– which sited its authority in the Declaration of Independence and Maine’s state Constitution- included language which states that “Sedgwick citizens possess the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.” Passed via the venerable New England tradition of the town meeting, this small hamlet of rural farmers in coastal Maine had little trouble passing the ordinance, taking a step that has since been followed by three other Maine towns.

Clearly, the “food sovereignty” movement is establishing a foothold and is spreading throughout the state of Maine. But what does this mean? Is this movement a New England phenomenon or should we expect to see similar ordinances passed by towns in Oregon? And just what the heck is the concept of “food sovereignty” any way?

“Food sovereignty is where libertarian, free market ideas combine with liberal ideology to develop a robust local food system free from other safety requirements,” explained Ron Paul, a former Portland City Hall mainstay who is currently the Director of the James Beard Public Market and developing a Masters of Food Policy and Culture program at Marylhurst University. “Free marketers find the idea of ‘food sovereignty’ appealing as they believe that most market regulations are overbearing. What needs to be recognized is that while these opposite ends of the political spectrum may share an agenda, the question that needs to be asked is ‘What’s common sense legislation regarding our food system, and how do we achieve it?’”

Read full post at Blue Oregon

3 responses to “Keeping the Church Potluck Legal and Free

  1. I totally disagree with this apples and oranges examination as perceived by Boutard. Evans is right on the money, and so she should be. Why does every friggin’ soverignty act have to do with Libertardians and other politicians, albeit the FSA’s are in direct opposition to political moves on the national scale. I am please to see the words HOME RULE emerge. This is the kind of swadeshi that Gandhiji spoke to in his time. Its not so much about market, (dare we say that?) as it is about the right to choose who you get your food from, and who you give or sell your food to. I doubt that neighbors, by and large, would want to poison one another with tainted food, so where’s the argument? And anyway, we see how “alliances” have worked for the Environmental org’s, right? Alliances are at the beck and call of the corporatocratic bullies, and any group who wants to forge these alliances with evil, well, they are simply cowards in my mind. That’s what it has come down to. GO SOVEREIGN FOOD!

    • yeah, and the other thing, the writer (and most progressives) still maintain the illusion that there can be “good government” anymore. That option is gone. Government is owned lock, stock and barrel by corporations, thanks to corporate personhood.

      Good government is an oxymoron. We are on our own and food sovereignty laws like these assert our natural freedom in the face of a corporate onslaught.

  2. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Keeping the Church Potluck Legal and Free | Food Freedom

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