Category Archives: Food Freedom

‘Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act’ proposed in Maryland

Who says politicians don’t create anything worthwhile? This is damn good comedy:

open quoteA Maryland state senator has crafted a bill to curb the zeal of public school officials who are tempted to suspend students as young as kindergarten for having things — or talking about things, or eating things — that represent guns, but aren’t actually anything like real guns.

Sen. J. B. Jennings, a Republican who represents Baltimore Harford Counties, introduced “The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013″ on Thursday, reports The Star Democrat.

“We really need to re-evaluate how kids are punished,” Jennings told The Star Democrat. “These kids can’t comprehend what they are doing or the ramifications of their actions.”

“These suspensions are going on their permanent records and could have lasting effects on their educations,” he added.

A nationwide flurry of suspensions seemed to reach an absurd level recently when Josh Welch, a second-grader at Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, was suspended for two days because his teacher thought he shaped a strawberry, pre-baked toaster pastry into something resembling a gun. (RELATED: Second-grader suspended for breakfast pastry)

“I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top of it and kind of looked like a gun,” the seven-year-old told Fox News.

“But it wasn’t,” he astutely added.

As Reason’s Hit & Run blog noted, Park Elementary School officials later offered counseling to other students who may have been traumatized by the pastry.close quote

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/10/toaster-pastry-gun-freedom-act-proposed-in-maryland/#ixzz2NKWo2bAf

Keep in mind, this counseling for a gun-shaped pastry is being offered in a country where kids used to bring rifles to school, leave them in their lockers, then walk home along the corn fields shooting vermin.

Monsanto vs. a 75-year-old farmer

open quoteOn Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a 75-year-old soybean farmer’s appeal against biotech giant Monsanto, in a case that could permanently reshape the genetically modified (GM) crop industry. Victor “Hugh” Bowman has been battling the corporation since 2007, when Monsanto sued him for violating their patent protection by purchasing second-generation GM seeds from a grain elevator. An appeals court ruled in favor of Monsanto, and despite the Obama administration’s urging to let the decision stand, the nine justices will hear Bowman make his case today.

Monsanto is notorious among farmers for the company’s aggressive investigations and pursuit of farmers they believe have infringed on Monsanto’s patents. In the past 13 years, Monsanto has sued 410 farmers and 56 small farm businesses, almost always settling out of court (the few farmers that can afford to go to trial are always defeated). These farmers were usually sued for saving second-generation seeds for the next harvest — a basic farming practice rendered illegal because seeds generated by GM crops contain Monsanto’s patented genes.

Monsanto’s winning streak hinges on a controversial Supreme Court decision from 1981, which ruled on a 5-4 split that living organisms could be patented as private property. As a result of that decision, every new generation of GM seeds — and their self-replicating technology — is considered Monsanto’s property.

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Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/how-one-75-year-old-soybean-farmer-could-deal-a-blow-to-monsantos-empire-today.html#ixzz2LzHyALHl

State regulators crack down on grocery chain for selling cheap milk

open quoteLouisiana state regulators recently cracked down on a supermarket chain’s weekly promotional deal because it was selling milk too cheaply — which violates state law.

The upscale Fresh Markets was selling gallons of milk for $2.99 as part of a weekly promotional deal. Louisiana requires that retailer price markups be at least six percent above the invoice and shipping costs of the product.close quote

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/26/state-regulators-crack-down-on-grocery-chain-for-selling-cheap-milk/#ixzz2JANvA0Ax

“Food Sovereignty” law passed in small Maine town to allow sale of locally produced food without interference of regulators

open quoteMaybe the citizens of tiny Sedgwick on the Maine coast were listening to the calls of Dave Milano, Ken Conrad, and others for more trust and community, and less rigid one-size-fits-all food regulation.

On Friday evening, they became perhaps the first locale in the country to pass a “Food Sovereignty” law. It’s the proposed ordinance I first described last fall, when I introduced the “Five Musketeers”, a group of farmers and consumers intent on pushing back against overly aggressive agriculture regulators. The regulators were interfering with farmers who, for example, took chickens to a neighbor for slaughtering, or who sold raw milk directly to consumers.

The proposed ordinance was one of 78 being considered at the Sedgwick town meeting, that New England institution that has stood the test of time, allowing all of a town’s citizens to vote yea or nay on proposals to spend their tax money and, in this case, enact potentially far-reaching laws with national implications. They’ve been holding these meetings in the Sedgwick town hall (pictured above) since 1794. At Friday’s meeting, about 120 citizens raised their hands in unanimous approval of the ordinance.close quote (Read more)

“Raisin” Hell at the Supreme Court

open quoteTis the season to give thanks. And for the last 80 years, the federal government has required raisin producers to “give thanks” for the privilege of selling their raisins nationally by requiring them to fork over up to half of their raisins – for free. A lawsuit raising a constitutional challenge to the program has now made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case is Horne v. Department of Agriculture.

The program, operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has a rather Orwellian-sounding name – the “Raisin Marketing Order.” In a nutshell, under this program, every year, as a condition for “letting” farmers sell their raisin crops in interstate commerce, the federal government has taken up to 47% of the farmers’ raisins – often for no payment at all, or below the cost of producing the raisins. The program has its origins in Great Depression efforts to fix the prices of agricultural crops.close quote (Read more)

Man sentenced to jail for collecting rainwater in Oregon

open quoteAn Oregon man is expected to spend a month in jail after being convicted on nine misdemeanor charges related to his illegal use of…water. Gary Harrington was sentenced after being found guilty of illegally collecting water on his own rural property.

Harrington, of Eagle Point, Oregon, has been fighting for his right to do what he wishes with water since 2002. Now more than a decade after he first defended himself over allegations that the man-made ponds on his 170 acres of land violated local law, Harrington has been sentenced to 30 days behind bars and fined over $1,500.

Authorities say that Harrington broke the law by collecting natural rain water and snow runoff that landed on his property. Officials with the Medford Water Commission contested that the water on Harrington’s property, whether or not it came from the sky, was considered a tributary of nearby Crowfoot Creek and thus subject to a 1925 law that gives the MWC full ownership and rights. Therefore prosecutors were able to argue in court — successfully — that three homemade fishing and boating ponds in Harrington’s backyard violated the law.

For filling “three illegal reservoirs” on his property with runoff water, Harrington has been convicted on nine misdemeanor charges in Circuit Court. He says he will attempt to appeal, but as long as the conviction stands to serve 30 days of imprisonment. He has also been sentenced to an additional three years of probation.close quote (Read more)

Irrational Infatuation with Biofuels

open quoteAre you upset about rapidly rising food costs and high gas prices? You can thank members of Congress and the administration for this situation. Much of the United States is in the midst of a major drought. That’s not the fault of the political class, but those folks have made the consequences of the drought far worse for the entire world.

First, the facts: Corn and soybeans are the biggest U.S. grain crops and are used in many of the foods that almost everyone consumes each day. Congress subsidized and mandated the use of ethanol in motor fuel. Currently, about 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop is used in the production of ethanol. Corn prices rose as a result of the government creating an artificial, additional demand. As a result of higher corn prices, many farmers grew more corn and fewer other crops, such as wheat, which, in turn, caused the prices of those other crops to rise because of lower production.

The drought is resulting in a much smaller corn crop, but by law, much of the remaining corn must be used to produce ethanol, resulting in even higher prices for corn, which reached a record high last week.close quote (Read more)

9-Year-Old Who Changed School Lunches Silenced By Politicians

Another demonstration of what public schools really are: prisons run by goons.

open quoteFor the past two months, one of my favorite reads has been Never Seconds, a blog started by 9-year-old Martha Payne of western Scotland to document the unappealing, non-nutritious lunches she was being served in her public primary school. Payne, whose mother is a doctor and father has a small farming property, started blogging in early May and went viral in days. She had a million viewers within a few weeks and 2 million this morning; was written up in Time, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and a number of food blogs; and got support from TV cheflebrity Jamie Oliver, whose series “Jamie’s School Dinners” kicked off school-food reform in England.

Well, goodbye to all that.

This afternoon, Martha (who goes by “Veg” on the blog) posted that she will have to shut down her blog, because she has been forbidden to take a camera into school. She said:

This morning in maths I got taken out of class by my head teacher and taken to her office. I was told that I could not take any more photos of my school dinners because of a headline in a newspaper today.
I only write my blog not newspapers and I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos. I will miss sharing and rating my school dinners and I’ll miss seeing the dinners you send me too.

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