Civil Disobedience on a PlateWednesday, July 27, 2011
These stories circulating about culinary raves are becoming more prevalent. In fact, the New York Times did a good story back in April. Instead of the old dance-and-drug-type rave, these are raves where foodies gather to craft, sell, talk about, and share their food in underground farmer’s markets, away from all of the bureaucracy and tyranny of the federal food fuzz.
These are people who are sick and tired of the stifling, despotic regulations keeping them from freely transacting with customers at local farmer’s markets. They are weary of wasting productive time filling out maddening amounts of paperwork while chasing down one arbitrary stipulation after another. They’ve had it with the fees for health permits, liability insurance, and the use of commercial kitchens to comply with laws. They are denying the pay-offs to bureaucrats and “public safety” gatekeepers. (See my piece on Michigan’s cottage food laws.) And of course, this glorious movement was spawned because of blogs and Twitter. One guy, Roger Feely, a San Francisco chef, is known for his “pop-up” dinner parties in alleyways. The story says:
…The market organizers sidestep city health inspections by operating as a private club, requiring that participants become “members” (free) and sign a disclaimer noting that food might not be prepared in a space that has been inspected.
I celebrate the civil disobedience and and the blatant disregard for federal, state, and local laws. I have reverence for the breaking of laws that are nothing more than a stranglehold on creativity and market exchange. I extol those who deny the rent-seeking criminals who call themselves public servants. I promote the free exchange of goods and services for the betterment of each transacting party. And lastly, I despise the trotting out of “safety laws” by government goons as a necessary by-product of the exchange of edible things to “protect” the collective health of a society from spurious hazards lurking beneath every bite. ”Safe” is a propaganda ploy used for scaremongering, which in turn is used for political power grabs (federal control). “Safe” can be whatever any special interest or government bureaucrat wants it to be. We own our own bodies; we are the gatekeepers of safe.
If you throw in some homemade hooch, elderberry wine, Cuban cigars, uninspected raw milk, some medical apps for your iphone that haven’t been approved by the FDA, online poker rooms, steel-tipped lawn darts, and some 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, now you have one heck of a rave party.