>The Freedom to Choose Our Own Foods

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On Monday April 19, I was able to see a part of Wyoming’s government in action. Myself and two others left our town at about 8:30 AM headed for the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Agriculture, State and Public Lands and Water Resources Interim Committee meeting. It was a 3 and a half hour drive to the meeting location. We were attending afternoon session when the Wyoming Food Freedom Act would be presented. I wrote a post last week giving some details about this bill. In a nutshell, we would like to be able to purchase foods directly from the grower/producer without government interference.

We arrived in the town about noon and found the meeting place. The morning session was set to end anytime so we waited to see if anyone was there yet that was part of the Wyoming Food Freedom Act. After meeting another couple and the bill’s sponsor, Representative Sue Wallis, we decided to get some lunch before the afternoon session began. This meeting was in a fairly small town and it turned out that we had a choice of two places for lunch. The first place we went was so full that there were no seats. We went down the block to a coffee shop that had a few lunch options. In the coffee shop were two well dressed men. It was obvious that they were part of the meeting we were attending. We ended up speaking with them and one of the gentlemen was rather vocal that he was not really in favor of the Food Freedom Act. Both were very respectful though and we had a good conversation. After lunch we headed back to the meeting.

I have never been involved in anything political and honestly did not know what to expect. I have to admit that I was very impressed with the overall process. It was ran very well and people were respectful of each other even when presenting differing viewpoints. Turns out that the two gentlemen that we had met in the coffee shop were the Co-Chairmen of the Committee!

There was other business before the Wyoming Food Freedom Act came up. Lot’s of other business. At one point I found myself wondering if we would run out of time before they got to our stuff. They did get us. The discussion was very passionate at times. There is some concern from the beef industry (specifically the meat processors) that the passage of this bill would result in loss of income for them. Representative Wallis gave assurances that she did not have that intent for the bill. Overall, I got the impression that there was some interest in the raw milk aspect of the bill and even in the ability for people to purchase ready-for-the-oven chickens directly from the grower. Again, lots of passionate discussions.

Eventually there was the call for the vote. The vote would decide if the bill would be able to move forward to the next meeting in October. The vote was called. 5 people in favor and 5 people against. The deciding factor was one of the co-chairs (from our lunch encounter. The other one had already voted yes). I was holding my breath… He voted to move the bill forward!

I’m sure, Representative Wallis will be working diligently to bring a revised bill forward that is acceptable to all parties. There are many components to this bill- raw milk, chicken, beef, homemade food items- but all have one thing in common. The intent is to have a willing seller and a willing buyer with only one transaction to occur. It seems pretty simple to me. The ability to buy locally produced, whole, natural foods without government interference.

I’d love to hear what you think of this. Do you think that we should be able to purchase locally produced food goods without government interference?

Why or why not?

You can show your support for the Wyoming Food Freedom Act by signing the online petition. You do not need to live in Wyoming to sign- you just need to believe in every one’s right to clean, wholesome, locally produced food. Learn more about Wyoming Food Freedom Act by visiting the website here.

This post is a contribution to Fight Back Friday hosted each week by Food Renegade.

Picture source: Wyoming Food Freedom Act.
M.D. Copper
M.D. Copper is a Wyoming wife and mama. After reading Nourishing Traditions in early 2009, her family began transforming their diet to whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods—a little at a time while stretching their food dollars. M.D. is passionate to share how, with a little creativity, anyone can transition to a real foods diet without overwhelming their food budget. M.D. began blogging in late 2009 and has amassed a collection of frugal recipes and methods. Her specialties include cooking with wild game and creating “Stretchy Beans”. M.D. has discovered a love of writing. She has penned four books focusing on healthy eating on a budget and is trying her hand at fiction writing.

Comments

  1. Reid Kimball

    >What is this government interference that is mentioned in the blog post and the website you linked to?

    I agree that people should be able to buy the food they want, but I haven't experienced any interference to my knowledge. I'm in Oregon, is it different in Wyoming?

  2. Millie

    >Hi Reid Kimball,

    It is different in Wyoming than Oregon. I lived in Oregon for 20 years and while I wasn't involved in 'real food' at that time things that happen here I never heard of happening there.

    First, raw milk. In many states raw milk can be legally obtained through a herd share program, purchasing at the farm or even purchased in grocery stores. None are option in Wyoming. I feel that I should be able to choose to give my family raw milk or not.

    Second, chickens. There is a Federal exemption that allows the processing of up to 20,000 chickens per year as long as the poultry is sold in the grower/processors state. But each state can then make their own more restrictive laws. Wyoming says 1000 birds a year. BUT in order to process those 1000 a slaughter and processing facility equal to what would be required to slaughter and process beef must be constructed. At 1000 chickens a year it I'm not sure those costs would ever be recouped. And there is not a poultry processing place in the state of Wyoming. That leaves my family choosing to raise and process our own poultry to fill our freezer. I have the ability to do that but not every one does. Should those people be forced to eat factory raised grocery store chickens because of our state government?

    Third, state and local health departments have been known to come in and shut down potlucks or other community events because of the 'public health risk' of eating at a potluck. I have a problem with the health departmentment telling me who I can eat with. If we can't enjoy a church or group potluck without government interference than something is severely wrong.

    I could go on. But at the moment my response is equal in length to it's own blog post 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    >I absolutely favor this bill that advances food freedom and free trade between consenting parties.

    While it may be appropriate for the government to protect the consumer from anonymus providers that sell in retail stores, to say that we need government protection from our neighbor is tyranny of the highest order.

    When farmers aren't free, baby, nobody is.

    I was born into a free country and want it to stay that way. We are on a slip-n-slide into infernal government control of our lives from birth to grave.

    Freedom!!

  4. Reid Kimball

    >Millie,

    I'm glad I asked, I had no idea food choice was so restricted in Wyoming. Keep up the good fight!

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