Mondays With Millie: Food Freedom Needs YOU!
Today I planned on starting a series on some of my favorite tasty and gut healing foods. First up was to be yogurt and all of the wonderful benefits of yogurt and ways that you can work gut-healthy yogurt into your diet.
Something came up in the last few days that bears directly on my ability to provide my family with this wonderfully nutrient dense and gut healthy product.
I make our room temperature yogurt from real milk. This milk is full fat, unprocessed and from pasture-fed cows. I share ownership in a cow with several other individuals and employee someone else to feed, care for and milk that cow for me.
About 10 minutes before 10 on Friday evening I was notified via email that the Wyoming Department of Agriculture has inserted one word in one paragragh of 15 chapters of proposals in the name of ‘food safety’ that will effectively make it illegal for me to own a share of a cow.
The proposed rule change can be found at the Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) website. Chapter 3 (Food Care) Section 8 (i) “This subsection does not apply to individuals who obtain milk from animals solely owned by them, members of their family, or their employer and who furnish raw milk or products made from raw milk only to members of their family or nonpaying guests.”
According to an attorney from the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund that word “solely” will change Wyoming law and make herd share arrangements illegal. Any indivual who wishes to consumer real milk will be forced to ‘solely’ own their own cow or goat(s). People who live in towns may not be able to do this. People like me who have only a small amount of land will be extremely challenged to do this.
Not to mention the fact that if this proposal becomes “law” then the Wyoming Department of Agriculture will have instituted a new law. They are not the lawmakers in this state! According to the Wyoming State Constitution Article 3, Section 20 Laws to be passed by bill; alteration or amendment of bills: No law shall be passed except by bill, and no bill shall be so altered or amended on its passage through either house as to change its original purpose.
Not only is the WDA trying to enact this new herd share law, the same proposals also contain new ‘food safety’ rules that will make it illegal to sell salad greens at farmers markets without having ‘potentially hazardous’ license from the WDA. This means the greens could not be washed and cut in a persons own kitchen but would have to be prepared in a ‘certified’ kitchen that will cost thousands of dollars to comply. Also in these ‘rules’ it would become impossible to buy farm fresh eggs in our local markets and stores.
Wyoming does not want or need the government to decide what we can eat or who we can buy it from!
You probably do not live in Wyoming and think that this has nothing to do with you.
Perhaps that is correct but what if these proposals succeed? Could other states do the same sneaky and underhanded thing to try to enact new laws without going through proper legislation? Maybe you don’t care about raw milk, salad greens or farm fresh eggs but really this isn’t about those things. This is about states following their constitution to enact new laws. Not allowing an arm of government (who are specifically hired to perform a job*) to enact new laws. Plus do we really want the government telling us what we can eat or where we can buy our foods?
We need to make a stand. We need to make some NOISE.
What can you do?
1. Take Action! Click here to sign the petition!
2. Submit comments. Must be in writing, (not email or fax). Must be received by next Wednesday (5/23). So that means for most of us, we will have to overnight letters to Cheyenne. Ask that the word soley be removed and/or the entire (i) section be removed Written comments or request for a public hearing may be addressed to: Wyoming Department of Agriculture, 2219 Carey Ave, Cheyenne, WY 82002.
3.. Request a public hearing, again email or fax may be ignored, so will need an overnight letter with confirmation sent to the above address. A public hearing will be held if requested by 25 persons, a governmental subdivision or by an association having not less than 25 members. (Source)
4. Call, write, email the Governor’s office and state legislators – request that this administration stop making rules and regulations without being legislated upon. And that the proposed rule is not needed and is over-regulation. Contact Governor Mead here. Find a State Senator here. Find a State House Member here.
5. Write letters to editors of local Wyoming papers, call in to local radio shows, etc. Post and share on facebook and other social media sites, ask your friends, family, farms and ranches to get involved.
Make a BIG noise.
* According to the State of Wyoming website: “The Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) has the leadership role within the agricultural industry and provides knowledge and expertise to promote profitibilty and to protect the production, marketing and delivery of consumer goods, thus ensuring honesty and integrity in the marketplace.”