Saturday, January 26, 2013

Organic farmers, Tea Party libertarians make common cause

Tea Party Libertarians and Small Organic Farmers Make Strange Political Bedfellows - US News and World Report:

January 24, 2013 - "In October 2011 [Laura Bledsoe] and her husband Monte decided they wanted to host what they called a "farm to fork" event in their ... farm 50 miles outside of Las Vegas. 'We advertised it as a zero mile footprint," she recalls.... 'we were advertising the fact that this was, for the most part, food prepared directly on our farm'....

"Trouble began two days before the event was to take place. They received a call from the Southern Nevada Health District Office, who wanted to know if the farmers had secured a health permit for the event.... Monte immediately dropped what he was doing and traveled 40 miles to Mesquite to apply for a permit. It was here he learned the process required an inspection to take place the day of the event....

"The health inspector arrived simultaneously with several of the event's guests.... "She literally came in and started looking for things she could find fault with,' Laura recalls. 'That just became apparent in her attitude and demeanor with how she handled things.'

"The health inspector raised several concerns, but chief among them was the meat the Bledsoes were preparing to serve. Because the event was advertised as a 'zero mile footprint,' the meat hadn't been sent through a USDA processing plant, as is required for any meat purchased at a grocery store or restaurant, so the inspector deemed it illegal to serve.

"'She immediately demanded that we send our guests home and cease the event, and if we didn't she would call the police and have them personally escorted off the property'.... In addition to being ordered to send their guests home, the farmers were also told they needed to pour bleach over all the meat to ensure it would never be served."

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