By David Gumpert
[Excerpts] Last week’s multi-agency assault on Rawesome Food Club in Venice, Calif., marked the first time individuals associated with a food club or a small farm had actually been thrown into jail, in this case charged with 13 felonies and misdemeanors, and held on high bail (requested between $60,000 and $130,000).
Many of the 2,000-plus members of Rawesome are extremely upset. Now, they have joined forces with members of a Maryland food club, Grassfed on the Hill, to form a new national association of food clubs, the Farm Food Freedom Coalition, intended to fight the federal and state crackdowns on private food groups and farmers.
Grassfed on the Hill was hit with a 13-month undercover investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that resulted in an Amish farmer in Pennsylvania being sued in U.S. District Court in May, with the U.S. Justice Department seeking a permanent injunction preventing him from supplying the Maryland club.
The new Farm Food Freedom Coalition organized by the California and Maryland food clubs is noteworthy because it is heavily represented by mothers among its organizers. Liz Reitzig, mother of four, says that while there are a number of organizations focused on food rights, “most are geared toward farmers. We want to give consumers more of a voice.”
The fact that it’s mothers leading the charge should give the bureaucrats and lawyers at the FDA and Los Angeles County district attorney cause for concern, says Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures Dairy Co., the largest raw milk producer in the country.
“Moms from the east and west coast and everywhere in between are uniting,” he says. “If a coalition of moms take on the behemoth FDA over food rights … oh Jesus.”
Read the full post at Grist.
Related: Government raids set local foodies on edge
By Laura Brown
The Union (serving Western Nevada)
Nerves are raw among local food advocates one week after a packed Grass Valley showing of the film, “Farmageddon” and a swat team-style government raid on Rawesome Foods, a private health food club selling raw milk in Southern California.
Already a new local committee has loosely formed calling themselves, “Nevada County Local Food Freedom” made up of physicians, farmers, businessmen and Weston A. Price Foundation leaders who, despite political differences, agree that everyone deserves the right to choose what they eat.
A draft resolution is in the works, outlining a community desire for freedom to purchase food for health and keep government intervention out of the local food system.
After creating a “buzz,” a second showing of “Farmaggedon,” a film documenting government raids and harassment of small farms across the country, is already tentatively scheduled for August 24 at a bigger venue, the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium in Grass Valley with room enough to seat 1,000 people.
Read the full post at The Union.