Monday, March 2, 2015

More about the Freedom Food Sovereignty Ordinance

"We always hear about the rights of democracy, but the major responsibility of it is participation." ~ Wynton Marsalis

Mark your calendar for March 6 and March 14.

                         Freedom’s Local Food Ordinance of 2015

“There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food.”
—FDA written testimony in an Iowa U.S. District Court, April 26th 2010

This Ordinance preserves our constitutional right to grow, sell and eat the foods of our choice by:

PROTECTING direct farmer/grower/processor-to-patron sales. So long as there is one willing seller and one willing buyer, the producer or processor of local foods is exempt from federal or state permitting, certification or licensure. Patrons may enter into private contractual agreements with a producer or processor for their products.

PRESERVING our local heritage. As federal agencies increasingly require food to be pasteurized, homogenized, centralized and sterilized, our long held rural traditions are under attack all over the country. The ordinance protects bean suppers, bake sales, traveling food fundraisers, holiday fairs and other community social events that are the fabric of our rural life.

ALLOWING family farms to be profitable and viable. Without this Ordinance, small, diversified farms face a growing number of burdensome requirements for facilities and infrastructure geared toward industrial food factory “farms.” A one-size-fits all approach is not the answer to food safety.

PROTECTING the livelihoods of our food producers by allowing them to continue to sell their products. Farmers, growers, and processors selling in our own town have an honest incentive to grow safe food; their reputations are based solely on the quality of their products. The new food-borne illnesses common in the factory-food system do not have their roots on our farms.

GROWING our local economy. Buying local keeps money in our community and helps farms remain economically viable as they supply the expanding demand for locally grown food.

PROMOTING public health. The biggest threat to our nation’s food supply, according to the USDA, is concentrated factory-style production, centralized processing, and long distance transportation.  Our small farms and local processors are the solution. Raising meat, dairy, eggs, fruits, and vegetables as close as possible to the kitchens of customers, the end-users, increases our food safety.

 PROTECTING THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF FREEDOM by saving farmland.  Farmland provides food and cover for wildlife, builds soil health, protects watersheds and improves air quality. The Local Foods Ordinance helps preserve Freedom’s farmland by safeguarding economic opportunity for the family farmers, growers, and processors in Freedom. This in turn, helps preserve Maine’s wildlife, soils, watersheds, and our rural way of life.

Local agriculture is sustainable only when our family farmers and local processors are free to sell their food products directly to their customers, as they have since time out of mind. Sustainable farming makes our environment, economy, and community all grow stronger.

Please hear the facts at a Public Hearing March 6 at 6:00pm at the Town Office.  And make sure to come to Town Meeting Saturday March 14 at 10:00am at the Dirigo Grange and support this effort. 

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