The average American cannot imagine the regulatory minutiae accompanying every food transaction in this country. - Joel Salatin, Environmentally friendly farmer, clean local food advocate, and author.
While I had heard of Joel Salatin and his farm, Polyface, over a year ago, until recently I had not done much more than cursory research on the man behind one of the nation's must influential family (as opposed to factory) farms. After finishing Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma," I decided Salatin's book "Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal," would be worth the read.
"Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal," addresses the everyday conflict between the entrenched industrial food system and the local artisanal neighbor-friendly farmer-entrepreneur. While avoiding too many details about my day-to-day life, I will freely admit that I am often forced to deal with government bureaucrats, and that with each encounter the bitter disdain I have of a system that is ensconced in tomes of regulation grows. A regulation can never adequately address the needs of each individual situation. Personally, I prefer to think critically for myself and allow others to do the same.
I believe Mr. Salatin is of the same mindset, and while I do not espouse all of his ideas, there is no doubt in my mind to the quality of his intellect. As Food Revolution Day quickly approaches I leave you with a few of his thoughts (paraphrased by me).
The cumulative effect of all these requirements is that the local producer stays nonviable as a business and as a player on the world food stage. Were local access encouraged rather than discouraged, the world food stage would at least be significantly altered by the thousands upon thousands of local venues. ...
Local food advocates like me [Salatin] receive jeers from the credentialed agriculture community as elitist, as irrelevant, as a joke. ... The fact that a local food system exists at all bespeaks its potential power. If we can do what we've done with both hands cuffed, imagine what we could do were we freed to play unimpeded. We should all dream about such a day. Let the revolution come quickly. - Joel Salatin, "Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal."