Free Market Food Nullification
A few years ago, Sedgwick, Maine became the first town in the US to pass a “Food Sovereignty” law, giving its citizens the right “to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.” This includes raw milk, locally slaughtered meats, and just about anything else you can imagine. It’s also a decided bucking of state and federal laws:
This isn’t just a declaration of preference. The proposed warrant added, “It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance.” In other words, no state licensing requirements prohibiting certain farms from selling dairy products or producing their own chickens for sale to other citizens in the town.
What about potential legal liability and state or federal inspections? It’s all up to the seller and buyer to negotiate. “Patrons purchasing food for home consumption may enter into private agreements with those producers or processors of local foods to waive any liability for the consumption of that food. Producers or processors of local foods shall be exempt from licensure and inspection requirements for that food as long as those agreements are in effect.” Imagine that–buyer and seller can agree to cut out the lawyers. That’s almost un-American, isn’t it?
How revolutionary would it be, both in expanding liberty and decentralizing food production, if towns all across America organized like this to assert their natural rights? It’s hard to think of a better example of the localized free economy and community than farmers markets that give a middle fingers to the feds.
Grassroots power like this will increasingly become and more necessary as governments continue to use violence to prevent people from building sustainable communities and force a handful of corporate choices on us.
Independent citizens who, say, raise chickens and rabbits in their own backyards and create a local, sustainable agricultural community are the lastest threats to government power. Farmers who produce food and eggs for co-ops and restaurants will be targeted too. They want us all dependent on large, soulless corporate mega-farms. Plus, individual farming is a sign of self-reliance and stewardship, and there are very few things more resistant to the growth of government power than freethinkers, independence, and horizontal culture.
Perhaps the most important words written in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence state that government depends on the consent of the governed. The actions taken by this brave, small town in Maine exemplify the most revolutionary act one can do: withdraw consent from unjust authority. A peaceful divorce, if you will.
The future for the soul of this country will not be won in the ballot box, the political process, or through bloody, armed revolution, but the peaceful ignoring of those with spurs that view us as bountiful saddles. Because without the songs, the flags, the chants, the uniforms, the badges, and ultimately, without our consent, the state is just a gang of thieves writ large. It, and it’s Caesar, has no clothes.