Thursday, March 10, 2011
Food Sovereignty in Maine Towns
Town meeting. A practice that has held fast in New England for hundreds of years. On town meeting day, issues usually focus on roads, schools, zoning and budget issues there in. But in Sedgwick, Maine town meeting had an additional focus: food sovereignty. The town unanimously passed an ordinance that nullifies federal and state laws that oversee processing and sales of local food products. You might say: "Can they do that?!" That is what I said, and I am not sure yet. This ordinance would allow people to run bakeries out of their kitchens, sell their meat after having processed in on the back step and sell milk that is still warm from the udder. Radical. Powerful. Promising. This is the type of local action that starts entire economic and social revolutions. But is the Agency of Agriculture in Maine going to shut this town down? And if not, can we emulate this type of law-making here, in our state. I will continue to look at case law that would support or refute the town's right to nullify state or federal legislation and promise to update this blog with what I find out. This ordinance is by far the most exciting political action I have witnessed during my time in Montpelier- I want to bring this type of thinking into our towns! I feel a Div III brewing...
For more about Sedgwick, visit: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/03/maine-town-declares-food-sovereignty/