I will not beat this horse incessantly, but I am very aware that these posts do not get read every day so if I really want you folks to know about something, I need to repeat it a couple of times.
l've hooked up with John Moody, who worked for several years with the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, to convene a one day conference Jan. 25 in Cincinnati called the Rogue Food Conference.
The reason is simple: food regulations have gotten so onerous in our country that creative alternatives to compliance are now in many cases more doable than compliance. Hence, circumvention rather than compliance.
Whether it's 501(c)(3) food churches, country club private transactions, membership dividends or pet food, clever, savvy folks around the country are figuring out how to get local food transactions done without entering "in commerce." That's the phrase that gets you.
You can give anything away, from raw milk to home made pepperoni; but if money exchanges hands and it enters "commerce," it's all illegal unless you jump through scale-discriminatory licensing and regulatory hoops. More often than not, the cost of complying with the infrastructure, licensing, and overhead requirements puts launching embryonic entrepreneurial prototypes out of reach.
If you wonder why authentic food is either unavailable or exorbitantly expensive, more often than not it has nothing to do with market desire, efficiency, production/processing know-how, or resources like kitchens; by far and away the primary reason is asinine scale-prejudicial inappropriate bureaucratic meddling.
Clever work-arounds are popping up all over the country and it's time to both showcase these innovations and to empower others to utilize them. This is an entire guerilla movement, under the radar. It's not on TV news. But it's alive and well. It represents the same spirit as the Hong Kong human rights protests or any other basic human dignity protest effort around the world.
In most of those areas around the world, the kind of food I'm describing is easy to sell and folks are glad to get it. Here in America, our tyranny is in a different arena, but it's no less vital or important. This will not be a conference of weirdos, I can tell you. The speakers will be thoughtful, articulate, well-reasoned defenders of food freedom in a country where our judges write in their opinions that no American has the right to choose their own food. Communists have not even written such anti-human rulings.
I am pleading for folks who want to preserve food freedom to join us on this day. We're hoping to get some media traction but that's a tough slog. The main thing is to come together for encouragement and fellowship. Freedom of food choice should not be this hard to defend, but it is. I know plenty of things occupy our time and all sorts of causes vie for our attention. But somebody needs to stand up to the food tyrants, whether corporate, consumer protectionists, or bureaucrats, and say enough is enough. Let's take back our food even if we lose everything else.
Tickets and information are available at https://roguefoodconference.com/
Thank you for caring . . . and coming. I look forward to seeing you there.
Have you tried to make and sell a food item that you finally gave up on because regulations were too onerous?