I started growing my own food as a way to reclaim my own food supply. In fact, to reclaim it through my cultural heritage a a means to foster the root of healthy food access and preparation that I believe rests in all families. Urban farming has been a journey exploring this as well as a direct tool for a political dialogue on ways to create a heathy, sustainable, equitable and locally owned food systems. Hence my focus on food policies and my tirades against fast food chains.
That said, I am pleased to share two recent policies passed that demonstrate thinking in a great direction. In California the Homemade Food Act passed (huge effort of Sustainable Economies Law Center to make this happen). With this legislation, you can now skip the expensive step of leasing certified commercial kitchens before selling some home-prepared foods. The list of approved products include “non-potentially hazardous food” such as bread, fruit pies, jams, honey, dried nuts and other goods that don’t involve cream or meat ingredients. This enables the creation of a lucrative cottage food industry in California that can serve as an alternative source of income for residents.
Further afield in New York, the ban on sugary drinks greater than 16 fluid ounces also passed! This new policy applies to all restaurants, fast-food joints, delis, movie theaters, sports stadiums and even food carts. However, it does not apply to drinks sold in grocery stores, diet sodas, drinks that are more than 70-percent fruit juice, or that contain alcohol.
All in all, it seems the tide may be shifting.