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
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