Because I am a raw milk drinker, I hear about this sort of scenario all the time. But this time, the scene that unfolded on September 2nd in Charlottesville, VA had nothing to do with raw milk. This story is about eggs. Farm fresh eggs. You didn’t know those were criminal did you?
Turns out, they aren’t.
The story concerns Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farms eggs. From the Polyface YUM blog, we read:
Thursday, Sept. 2 Mark Gresge, owner/chef of L’etoile Restaurant in Charlottesville, notified us that Pamela Burke, a Charlottesville City Health Inspector had been in and written up a critical hazard for using eggs from an “unapproved source.” Interestingly, and in totally aberrant behavior, she did not confiscate the eggs on the spot–probably oversight more than charity.
This citation included not only the Polyface chicken eggs, but also the duck eggs from another local farmer. The citation included the remedy and cited code requirements that the eggs come from a source of B grade consumer-ready eggs as certified by the USDA. Never did it indicate the eggs were less than B grade.
In fact, Polyface eggs far exceed B grade.
Joel Salatin immediately called the owner/chef, Gresge, to get the legal language and the code numbers cited. Then he called Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, where legal counsel Pete Kennedy, Esq., answered the phone. Kennedy took down the information, did his sleuthing, and within 24 hours had an admission from Burke that the citation was in error and that the eggs were indeed legal for commerce.
Tuesday, Sept. 7 Kennedy will seek to get the citation expunged from the restaurant’s record.
What lesson should you take from all this?
The Polyface YUM blog suggests three. But the one I want to drive home to you is the first:
The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund is THE vanguard of food freedom. Without FTCLDF, Joel and Polyface would have spent hours wrangling, haggling, getting ulcers and fighting a battle with food police bureaucrats. Precious time, energy, and emotional capital would have been squandered trying to secure basic food rights and parse the regulatory labyrinth.
Here’s the point: JOINING FTCLDF, more than Nature Conservancy, Audobon Society, Humane Society, Slow Food, Sierra Club, or whatever, is THE MOST IMPORTANT and fundamental thing you can do right now to secure your freedom to eat the food of your choice. Polyface urges, implores, begs you to encourage this national organization that offers legal relief in these days in which the interests hostile to food choice are becoming more aggressive and more bold. Please do this for your children.
I really couldn’t have said that any better.
The Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund Mission
- Protect the constitutional right of the nation’s family farms to provide processed and unprocessed farm foods directly to consumers through any legal means.
- Protect the constitutional right of consumers to obtain unprocessed and processed farm foods directly from family farms.
- Protect the nation’s family farms from harassment by federal, state, and local government interference with food production and on-farm food processing.
Translation? They’re fighting for your right to have access to raw milk, your right to choose what foods you will and will not eat, your right to buy directly from farmers.
Even if you don’t want to become a member, you can still donate to help them in their fight!
Their website is a wealth of information. Go check them out!
(photo by cskk)