Small Food Smackdown

Monday, May 30, 2011
Posted in category Food Totalitarianism

Another great food producer who is outside of the Industrial Food Machine, and who makes a unique and sought-after product, is being run out of business by government tyrants.

Her business, while it lasted, consisted of herself, making yogurt on the instructions of her father. Ms Dashtaki was renting space in the kitchen of an Egyptian restaurant where she and her father, “like elves before and after their working hours”, lovingly cultured their yogurt under a blanket, then drained it through a certain kind of cheese cloth, then stirred it for hours, and so forth. For the taste to be divine, everything has to be just so. And, being artisans, they kept the volume tiny, about 20 gallons (76 litres) a week, for sale only at local farmers’ markets.

Ms Dashtaki discovered the California regulatory state. She was told she had to set up a “Grade A” dairy plant and use processing machines that were not only very expensive, but would transform her entire method for making yogurt, a process that makes her yogurt product unique and extremely popular.

In spite of the anti-California disposition running through this article in The Economist, it is not just California that tramples the makers of artisanal products. If it is not California it will be some other state, and if not the state governments it will be the federal government that will work to eliminate the competition that threatens to take consumers away from its most favored corporate state partners who are subsidized and/or encouraged (by the federal dietary guidelines, etc.) to produce an industrial “food” supply based on the accepted tenets of conventional wisdom. Always – the government is there to protect a whole slew of favored corporate players from your free choices and voluntary transactions with small producers that may impinge on the the profits of the Big Food industry and influence the food culture in a direction away from its cheap-and-easy factory food. Thanks to Mark Fee for the link.

Be Sociable, Share!
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to Small Food Smackdown

  1. Senthil Prabakaran says:

    May 30th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    It is amazing the paranoia that government has over raw milk. Having switched to raw milk and raw heavy cream (simply divine), and making my own yogurt, soft cheese and even raw sour cream, my health and my taste buds are in great form. Cooking with raw milk products adds so much more in terms of taste and flavor.

    I hope one day we will see the pasteurized years as the years where industrialization failed mankind.

  2. liberranter says:

    May 31st, 2011 at 5:19 am

    I wish I had this lady’s contact information. I’d be one of her most loyal customers!
    Seriously, I hope that Ms. Dashtaki does what I’ve advised multiple friends and acquaintences with entrepreneurial ambitions to do: GO UNDERGROUND! No print or web advertising (strictly word of mouth, to trusted customers only), keep your factory or workspace at home or on the property of a trusted friend or relative (no leased or sublet commercial facilities that create a public commercial footprint), and demand payments for products delivered or services rendered IN CASH OR BARTER ONLY!

    How sad, and destructive to our society, that the activities of the free market have been rendered criminal and must be conducted as such!

  3. AtlasRises says:

    June 1st, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    That’s appalling. I hope that Californians wake up to the real reasons for these regulations, but in my experience as a market vendor “the public” desires these laws in the name of “safety.”

    Last summer Michigan passed the Cottage Food Law, allowing market vendors to sell homemade food products as long as the products contain the warning label: “Made in a home kitchen not inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture.” (That sentence must be typed in bold, capital letters with a minimum of 11-point font.) Upon reading that label, the majority of potential customers express concerns about food safety. They trust Spaghettios factory junk canned in unsanitary conditions, but don’t realize that a small, private business has a much larger incentive to produce high-quality, clean food.

    You might not be surprised to hear that the majority of customers still believe government nutrition dogma, too. I sell nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, macadamia, etc.), and many shoppers remark that these foods are too high in fat and calories. Then they shuffle over to the neighboring booths featuring white breads, cookies, donuts, and pies– and go home with bags full of the stuff.

    I try to use the market as an opportunity to engage in thought-provoking discussions, and on occasion people seem interested in learning more, but that is a rare treat. I’m really thinking that people in power impose regulations to the extent that sheeple want to be “protected” and excused from the responsibility of thinking for themselves.

  4. Cory says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    There’s a raw milk producer at the farmer’s market that I visit. We’ve bought from him many times. I’m not sure how true are the claims, but even if they are partly true, the benefits are amazing over regular milk. I know that my wife can drink it, but she can barely tolerate the factory dairy stuff. I wonder how long before they drag the poor guy (who will probably be labelled a domestic terrorist) away in chains.

Leave a Reply