Smallness in our Food System

2 thoughts on “Smallness in our Food System”

  1. This is a great post, I definitely support the proper legislation that would allow for the sale of certain home made foods. This sounds like a great idea, but I am confused how this differs from a traditional farmer’s market? Also, as I am sure you are aware, food deserts are an apparent problem across LA (even in the neighborhood surrounding USC), and I believe that this would be one way to properly combat this issue. The lack of healthy options for restaurants and grocery stores around south central LA is appalling. I think it is important (as you mentioned in your post) for consumers to understand irrigation techniques, pant variety, etc, I’m order to properly guide their food choices. And the other point you made about decentralizing food growing is also very important, the more people growing fresh produce means more healthy fresh produce on the market. This post offers great commentary and ideas and I look forward to learning more about this issue.

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    1. Thanks for such a great question! The Homemade Food Act concerns a very very specific group of food-preparers. Before this legislation (AB 1616), your home did not count as a “food facility” under the law (The Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law). That meant if you wanted to sell something at another food facility, like a Farmer’s Market, you had to make it in a commercial kitchen or some other legally-recognized “food facility.” It was a misdemeanor to prepare food at home and sell it at the farmer’s market or through a CSA.

      What AB1616 enables is for individuals to enter the world of food-making/selling without making big financial investments. If you make the food at home, have less than one employee, make less than a certain income, then you qualify as a “cottage food operation” and AB1616 lets you sell at farmer’s markets, from your home, or from other food facilities. The law does also put certain regulations on the preparation, labeling, and home environment of homemade food; for example you can’t prepare food for sale at a food facility while also preparing food for your family and you can only make certain types of foods that don’t go bad easily.

      All in all I see it as a wonderful enabler for people that don’t have a ton of capital to sell their stuff more freely. Next up in the world of LA food policy is legalizing street vending! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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