“[The] assertion of a fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health…is unavailing because [consumers] do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish.” FDA written testimony, Iowa U.S. District Court, 26 April 2010
So say the lawyers of the Federal agency responsible for food safety nationally. Little short of incredible!!
Local Food RULES is the name for the county chapters of Food for Maine’s Future which work to pass Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinances in their towns. The organization grew from the realization that Maine’s small farms cannot survive in an environment which declares that people have no right to buy the food that they believe will insure the health and well-being of themselves, their families, and their communities.
In 2010 local farmers in Hancock County embarked on a quest to save farms and traditional farming by asserting local control over local food and removing small farms, selling only at the farm or at farmers’ markets, from the system controlled by large farm interests. Patrons of these farmers, who shared their vision, rallied to support them. At spring 2011 town meetings four towns passed the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance. Seven other towns have since followed. the most recent in April, 2014. Two towns passed resolutions based on the language of the ordinance.
Other towns are now (June, 2014) beginning to work on passing ordinances. There is clearly a longing in the country for real food, produced by farmers in traditional ways. This longing exists in people who may share few, if any, political views, but share a love of good food and strong community values. This makes a movement! Explore this web site to see what is happening in this movement, and see what you can do to further this work.
This web site offers six groupings of information to better inform the public about the aims and context of the local foods ordinance movement in Maine and to support its further development and expansion:
1. Conceptual underpinnings of food sovereignty
2. Home rule and local control of the food system
3. Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinances
4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) [still under development]
5. State legislation bearing on local foods
6. Lists and links to background, material, and events
The purpose of this web site is to archive what has happened and the rationale for it, and to provide resources and counsel to those committed to expanding the number of municipalities committed to the movement.
Note: We are open to content and organizational suggestions for this website (send to firstname.lastname@example.org). Like any other grassroots socio-political movement, this one has – and will – evolve over time. That evolution will be reflected in what is seen here, both in content and organization.
(Logo by Deborah Evans)