Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The fight for good food...

Hello friends,
It has been way too long since I last blogged. I'm trying to do better. This post isn't going to be a catch-up post. This is going to be more of a vent/rant. As all of you know, we moved to the country in search of the good life. We found it in spades. We decided we wanted to share some of the good life and help pay some of the bills. We want to sell our pork which is raised on pasture naturally as opposed to crammed into metal buildings, never seeing the sun, getting shots of minerals because they can't root them out naturally, and crammed full of antibiotics to prevent disease in these unnatural conditions. We had our hogs butchered at a USDA inspected facility which allows us to re-sell it.

I called the county health department. We have to have a freezer to transport the pork to and from the market. We've transported the pork for hours before in a cooler with ice and it was still frozen rock hard when we got home. The best part is that the freezer doesn't have to be running, it just needs to be able to run. How is that different than a cooler. The permit is $167. The county guy told me that I also have to have a permit from the state to store frozen food.

So I call the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Their permit is $50. They have to come out and inspect the storage area. The freezer has to be dedicated to the meat you're selling (can't be used for the rest of your food). We have that. There's one thing wrong with our freezer situation. It's in our house. You're not allowed to have the freezer in the house. It has to be in an outbuilding. We have an automatic, natural gas generator for our house. It doesn't power any of the outbuildings. The guy goes on to say that there are other common sense rules like no toxic substances stored on top of the freezer or dogs running around doing their business in the freezer room. I say, "That's not common sense. Common sense would tell you to put it in the nice clean temperature controlled house with a generator instead of the dusty outbuilding that who knows what can get into." I get the "I don't make the rules speech.".

All I want to do is share my pork with the world and make a little money in the process to keep the farm going. I will jump through all of these hoops against my better judgment. I'll probably end up running power from the house to the milk house. I hope that having a freezer in the milk room (processing, not where I milk the girls) won't cause me not to be able to do milk.

I get that we need to keep our food supply safe. If I thought for a millisecond that these rules are working, I wouldn't complain. I know that they are not. You just have to watch the local news to find the latest food-borne illness that these rules didn't protect you from. It's time for a food revolution in this country, and I hope to be part of the vanguard.

Do you want to get your pork from someplace like this:

Or someplace like this:

 Which side are you on in the food revolution?


  1. I would buy from you any day! In fact I wish I lived close enough to buy from you at the farm but, alas, Roanoke Va is quite a distance to travel. Once you get everything in line maybe then you will be able to find a great way to sell outside of your area. I wonder if that is even possible?
    Hang in there! I envy your customers at your farmers market!

  2. Hey, let me know if you have pork to sell! You know I love pork because Chinese... ~_~
    If for whatever reason you are not 'allowed' to sell, I can always just pretend you are Indian and bring over some beads, booze, or blankets...

    1. I am on the same side as you are apparently. Texas has similar laws and they were all put in place supposedly to protect the food supply as the slaughterhouses and dairies got larger and filthier. Either by ugly design to protect the big-ag profits or unfortunate side effect, those same laws make it nearly impossible for small farmers to make a buck on the side. The permit to sell yard eggs at a farmer's market would cost $50/week. I finally decided "Eff it. Throw me in jail for selling 3 dozen eggs. I'd be delighted to make that statement." Keep fighting the good fight guys!