This update is outdated – I sorta went on sabbatical and didn’t go where internet services were available. (I also let this slide from my to-do list…)
But in short, an organic dairy farmer, with an Amish background, has operated a successful “feed thyself and thy neighbors who trust you with their stomachs” business for awhile now. Agreements were made between individuals on who produced what, who got to consume it and how trade was to be negotiated.
Complaints regarding the arrangement are not forthcoming from any of the parties involved.
They are, however, coming loudly from local authorities. (Agencies and personnel who depend on taxation/permit and licensing fees for their salaries and their annual budgets, I suspect.)
If the owners of Grazin’ Acres were not truly afoul of the law before, they sure are now. Owners and customers Broke Evidence Seal tape placed by local authorities in order to access the food they needed for their sustenance.
On the flip side, I think valid charges of Vandalism or Destruction of Private Property can be levied against the raiding officials – apparently they put blue dye in a huge tank of nutritious, organic milk, so as to make it unsellable.
Hmmm… reminds me of slash and burn tactics of armies and the weird actions of abusive spouses – if we don’t want it, can’t have it or make a profit off it, let’s destroy it so no one else can either…
Thank goodness the owners have some kind of religious faith and background. Freedom of Religion is sometimes the last Constitutional defense you can use that will hold up against government interference. (Hey! I don’t begrudge anyone their tax-free status – just wish it was for everyone…)
Being a gnostic heretic myself, if I ever come afoul of the law, I’m screwed.
(Note* translation of ‘gnostic heretic’ is as follows: “One who has free thought regarding spiritual topics”)
What reminded me to check in again on the saga of Grazin’ Acres was the fact that zealous profiteers (aka local government agencies) are now passionately fighting the battle against unlicensed, no-permit Lemonade Stands.
(Thanks to NimblePig for alerting us to this use of valuable resources.)
Granted, I’m glad I can make consumable purchases and not worry if I’m going to die each and every time something crosses my lips. I realize inspection and the funds for such are needed in order to provide this public service.
But I’m reminded of a friendly debate with Ms. Capricorn-Bookkeeper recently regarding regulation, taxation, the Free Market, the benefits and evils of capitalism and about any other highly controversial topic you can name. (that is the true benchmark of friendship – how many subjects can you debate and remain friends?)
To save you pain, I’ll paraphrase the conclusions of that hour long conversation in the following clip:
In a free market, those whose products are unsafe or crappy go out of business. People quit buying from them. We don’t need all these laws and regulations in order to realize 3% growth each year via bigger government and increased public spending ventures. My gawd – there is literally no ceiling on the ingenuity we possess. We can come up with all kinds of really needed and really cool products and services.
Really, who’d have thought you could talk to your friend while cosily at home in your jammies and not have to actually clean house in preparation for company? Thank you Mr. Bell.
I am not suggesting we return to the days of milk poisoning or selling cocaine as the elixir that heals. And I’m not silly enough to think getting rid of all regulatory laws and institutions tomorrow is a viable idea.
On the other hand, I truly question our current system of ensuring food safety. When those who inspect, enforce and oversee food safety also depend upon income via permits, licensing fees, fines and penalties to shore up their out-of-control budgets, then me thinks we’ve just let the fox into the henhouse.
I also am highly wary of the revolving door between agencies who oversee food safety, production and sales and corporations who like to patent life. (See Future of Food for details and information. Trust me, it’s worth the hour and a half out of your day.)
How about American ingenuity and entrepreneurship in the form of affordable home food safety testing kits?
Consumable product (our society has been trained to love consumable goods!), food safety for the individual, a new booming business guaranteed to save lives and enable the destruction of those who poison their neighbors while making a fortune. It would also mean new jobs… hopefully based in America….
Unfortunately, I’m not a business person, chemist or investor. But you go right ahead. I’ll just take an annual stock dividend check as a thank you for the idea….