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Local food = elitist?
Sat 13-Nov-10
10:57 pm
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mike.
Coventry

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The other day I read this great blog post/rant by someone complaining about the difficulties of getting cheap local food the the USA. It's a really long post but I found it fascinating. It basically boils down to small producers being punished by draconian health and safety laws, meaning that while it's cheap to actually produce the food, complying with all the regulations means it's expensive to sell.

Visit my blog for food, drink, photography and hamsters.

Sat 13-Nov-10
11:24 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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I've not read the whole thing yet but this paragraph struck home -

The problem, of course, is that I can feed my neighbor every day of the year in my kitchen. I can give him soup, sushi, stew, salad for ten years. But the moment he pays me, I become a restaurant, and i'm supposed to have a stainless steel counters and a triple sink. Well, I've never yet seen a home kitchen that came with a triple sink. It doesn't matter that I have cooked literally thousands of meals for hundreds of people without a single instance of food borne illness occurring in my kitchen - that has nothing to do with it. But if I need stainless steel, well, it just isn't worth it. My food becomes elitist - and my relationship with a man who has never done anything more elite in his whole life than milk cows is tainted.

Blumming elf & safety, complete madness!

Oh, and, isn't that a well written blog - such a refreshing read with all the right punctuation?

I'll try that again!

Sat 13-Nov-10
11:49 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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That's quite a thought provoking article, Mike. I read it all the way through and tried to read some of the comments too but reached the end of my attention span by then.

Her analogy of her male neighbour to whom she would not be allowed to sell food sort of brought home the ridiculousness of it all. I don't think B&B regulations in this country are very strict but if you operate as a restaurant then the entire bureaucratic thing slams you immediately.

I remeber the old "eating houses" of less than 30 years ago - basically homey type simple restaurants. I suppose they are gone by the board these days.

Getting back to the point about erecting obstacles for local food suppliers - there must surely be a better balance between reasonable health & safety restrictions and making them affordable for genuine suppliers.

It's something our notionally Green political parties should be encouraged to lobby for IMO.

Of course, old fashioned barter probably get around the nonsense. It's only when cash changes hands that regulations kick in as far as I know.

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 14-Nov-10
12:07 am
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Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

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The experence is very similar if you want to produce a food product ie: jams, jellies etc to sell.

I looked into what I'd have to do to create my mustard and BBQ sauce so I could sell it. roll_eyes

After I find a commercial kitchen I could rent for a peroid of time to make my products, (since I can't make them in my own kitchen) I have to take a month long class on food production and safety. eeek

Silly me, I just figured I'd need a food handlers card. aargh

 

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Sun 14-Nov-10
12:07 am
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mike.
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It should definitely be easier for people to sell bits and bobs of surplus food. The most common seems to be people selling eggs but I'd like to be able to buy cheap local produce. Farmers markets or farm shops round here are always quite expensive, probably for similar reasons given in the article.

Visit my blog for food, drink, photography and hamsters.

Sun 14-Nov-10
12:23 am
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Michelle, are you not able to sell, privately, to friends who just might want to pay you for hand-made goods?

Mike, every month we have a 'farmer's market'.  See here  It is the most expensive place to buy anything.  A loaf of bread is more than £2.00, the meat is all from the Woburn Estate, packed in plastic, the only stall I like is the man who sells the veg that he grows in his garden plot.

I'll try that again!

Sun 14-Nov-10
7:56 am
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JoannaS
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bobquail said:

The other day I read this great blog post/rant by someone complaining about the difficulties of getting cheap local food the the USA. It's a really long post but I found it fascinating. It basically boils down to small producers being punished by draconian health and safety laws, meaning that while it's cheap to actually produce the food, complying with all the regulations means it's expensive to sell.


 

This might interest our American readers

Action Alert: Protect small farmers and processors!
Support a Food Safety Modernization Act that recognizes small famers and local value-added processors.

You can find more details about it here cheers

Sun 14-Nov-10
7:03 pm
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kayerunrig
lincolnshire

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Looking back over the years i do have to laugh at the food snobbery you encounter , my mum could cook but wouldnt it was a couple of pies from the bakery most nights , my grandmother however could cook on a grand scale , shed raised 5 kids back in the 30s when her husband left before the advent of benefits . She cooked for everybody , farm labourers, the hunt , shooting parties , weddings, funerals all from a kitchen the size of a postage stamp that had a range . But the reason my mother didnt cook was she said she couldnt compete with Granny so why bother.

Is this the reason my kids are anti cooking ??? they dont want to compete?? have we all become elitist cooks?? processed food is unlikely to kill you ,so are we guilt tripped into trying to produce better at home by the media?

Sun 14-Nov-10
7:44 pm
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JoannaS
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My kids are good cooks, my youngest was perhaps the least educated at home but he can run up a pretty good meal with the little additions that make it special like adding basil to mashed potatoes. The other two cook regularly and only the eldest is a girl just in case anyone thinks it might be a girl thing. cheers I think I did ram it home that most often it is cheaper to cook from scratch thoughroll_eyes

Sun 14-Nov-10
8:56 pm
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Michelle from Oregon
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Toffeeapple said:

Michelle, are you not able to sell, privately, to friends who just might want to pay you for hand-made goods?


 Privately, yes. I have a little "following" thanks to my Sister. She had me donate some mustard and barbecue sauce to a fundraiser she was working on, and now I have a couple of people that ask for a jar of something from time to time. I've never made it a secret that it wasn't produced in a commercial kitchen, I even made a joke of it.

I put out a sign at the fund raiser-

"This product was made with much love, kindness, and a deep caring for producing great food. However, it was not produced in a commercial kitchen.

I promise I washed my hands."

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Sun 14-Nov-10
9:14 pm
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mike.
Coventry

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Michelle from Oregon said:

 

I put out a sign at the fund raiser-

"This product was made with much love, kindness, and a deep caring for producing great food. However, it was not produced in a commercial kitchen.

I promise I washed my hands."


 

I like it wink. A bit like this comic (only I hope you don't follow the same price structure).

Visit my blog for food, drink, photography and hamsters.

Tue 16-Nov-10
11:57 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Love it, Mike big_laugh

Is that a Ryanair commercial, by any chance?

Never knowingly underfed

Wed 17-Nov-10
2:34 am
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Michelle from Oregon
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bobquail said:

Michelle from Oregon said:

 

I put out a sign at the fund raiser-

"This product was made with much love, kindness, and a deep caring for producing great food. However, it was not produced in a commercial kitchen.

I promise I washed my hands."


 
I like it wink. A bit like this comic (only I hope you don't follow the same price structure).

 "And for $2 more, I'll sell you this jar of mustard without dog hair in it!"  big_laugh

Oh don't go "Ewww!" at me, if you have pets you know what I mean!  big_laugh

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Wed 17-Nov-10
8:45 am
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave Oh I shouldn't admit this, but my sons used to say it wasn't a real meal unless they found a dog hair.  

I think they were joking!!!!    whistle

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Thu 18-Nov-10
9:18 pm
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mike.
Coventry

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 "And for $2 more, I'll sell you this jar of mustard without dog hair in it!"  big_laugh
 

Oh don't go "Ewww!" at me, if you have pets you know what I mean!  big_laugh


 

That's a bit like the problem we have with the hamster bedding. It gets everywhere, on clothes, in shoes, in books, in bags. Luckily it doesn't get as far as the kitchen...

Visit my blog for food, drink, photography and hamsters.

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