By Elisha Dorfsmith
UPDATE: Please see: Raw Milk Now Available At Flagstaff Farmers Market
In December, 2012 Flagstaff residents gained access to an excellent new source for raw milk and other “real foods” when Here’s To Health raw milk Co-op started up. The co-op specializes in raw milk and other dairy products but also provides carrots, potatoes and a variety of wheat items.
Jennifer Vance, owner and operator of Here’s To Health is not new to the raw milk business. She has operated raw milk co-ops for years in Las Vegas, Nevada and Plano, Texas. Vance is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and wellness coach advocating for healthy, natural food.
Maple Yogurt, Raw Milk and Raw Cottage Cheese from Here’s To Health Raw Milk Co-op.
Co-op orders are placed on Wednesday and picked up on Saturday. There is a $20 membership fee to join which covers the cost of an ice chest for milk transport. Prices are reasonable with real (raw) milk priced at $7.00 a gallon.
For more information and a full list of available products and prices, please visit the Here’s To Health website: hth4u.com
Arizona is one of a handful of states that still allow raw milk to be sold by retailers and third party sellers.
Jennifer Vance will be the guest speaker at the next Flagstaff Liberty Alliance meeting. This meeting will be held on February 21st @ 5:30 pm at Higher Grounds Coffee House, 2 South Beaver Street suite 170, Flagstaff, Arizona. This meeting is free and open to the public.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
State Representative Bob Thorpe, along with four other Arizona representatives, introduced a strongly worded 2nd Amendment protection bill last week titled HB 2291 Arizona firearms; prohibited enforcement.
The primary objective of this bill is to protect all firearms, ammunition and accessories that are manufactured in Arizona from Federal laws and regulation, as long as those firearms, ammunition and accessories stay within the state of Arizona.
The Full text of HB 2291 can be found HERE.
There are a lot of pro 2nd Amendment bills being introduced across the country and in Arizona but what makes HB 2291 different is that it has teeth and ensures that those who work to deny 2nd Amendment rights to Arizonans are guilty of a class 6 felony. This includes both state and federal agents.
With a massive Federal attack on gun rights, it will be largely up to the States to make a stand and protect our freedom. Please take a moment to thank State Representative Bob Thorpe for introducing this legislation.
You may also want to contact your Arizona State Representatives and ask them to sponsor this bill. Contact info for Arizona State Representatives can be found HERE.
Flagstaff’s newest firearm dealer, the 2nd Amendment Store recently opened their doors. As their name suggests, the store specializes in everything firearms including ammo and gun accessories. The 2nd Amendment Store is located at 2500 S Woodlands Village Blvd. #25.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Tonight the Flagstaff City Council voted 5-2 to appoint me to the Sustainability Commission. The Sustainability Commission is a seven member commission who works in line with the Flagstaff Sustainability Program to recommend policy for council to consider.
As I told the council during questioning two weeks ago, my primary motivation for applying for the Sustainability Commission was to promote food freedom and more local food.
Of course, the commission covers much more than that and over the past couple weeks I have been asking people what they feel the Sustainability Commission should address. Their answers have been very diverse and cover a wide variety of topics including:
1. Work to repeal excessive regulations on second hand and recycling businesses (including the recently passed second hand ordinance that puts a huge burden on second hand businesses).
2. Embrace a local currency that will encourage people to shop locally.
3. Since the city discourages lawns for businesses and homeowners, the city should set an example and replace lawns on city property with community gardens.
4. Let the public know that the water treatment plant has dozens of plastic barrels available that work perfectly for rainwater harvesting.
5. Relax current restrictions to make it easier to keep chickens in small yards.
Take them or leave them, these are just a few ideas that were suggested to me by Flagstaff residents. I want to know what ideas you have. If you would like me to bring something up to the commission, please let me know. Our next meeting will be on February 13.
Please consider “liking” the Flagstaff Sustainability Program on Facebook so you can post your thoughts and ideas and offer input.
Also, be sure to visit the Simply Flagstaff blog that my wife writes.
Support food freedom.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
While collecting petition signatures for Flagstaff Liberty Alliance’s proposed Food Freedom Ordinance, I am often asked why there is a need for an ordinance like this in the first place. Many people in Northern Arizona have been growing, trading and selling their products at Farmer’s Markets for years with no trouble or harassment from authorities. Why try to fix something if there is not a problem?
The purpose of this post is to give a little background to the ordinance and explain why it is so important that the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County support food freedom.
Food Safety Modernization Act
On January 4, 2011 President Obama signed the highly controversial Food Safety Modernization Act. The FSMA was lobbied for and had strong support from giant corporate food companies like Monsanto, General Mills and Kraft Foods. Opposition came from consumers and small independent and organic farmers who claimed it would destroy their businesses and way of life.
The FDA website proudly says that the FSMA is the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years. They say the purpose of the act was to shift focus from responding to contaminated food to preventing contaminated food.
Critics claim that if enforced as written, the FSMA could outlaw everything from home gardening to saving seeds. Supporters of the bill say these accusations are simply a misunderstanding of the bill by bloggers and organic farmers. But even more mainstream papers like the Christian Science Monitor are saying similar things:
“While the Food safety bill does not explicitly restrict Americans from collecting seeds, it does make it more difficult, which could benefit companies like Monsanto. Monsanto is in favor of the bill.”
But wait, it’s been two years since the FSMA was signed, so why are small farmers and seed collectors not being bothered by the FDA? The answer here is simple. The FDA is way behind in their implementation of the act and is lacking the funds to fully enforce it. USA Today puts it this way:
“But two years after President Obama signed a sweeping food safety bill into law, the rules at the heart of the largest food safety overhaul in more than 70 years have yet to be put in place, blocked by their sheer length, growing complexity and a White House that critics contend has delayed their implementation for political gain.”
How Will A Food Freedom Ordinance Help?
The wording in the Food Safety Modernization Act is often vague and open to interpretation. To what extreme it will be enforced is anybody’s guess. Many cities and towns across the country (from Utah to Maine) have already decided it best to take preemptive action and pass Food Freedom Ordinances. The goal is to send a strong message to the FDA and other agencies that they value food freedom and organic farming.
If a Food Freedom Ordinance is passed in Flagstaff, it will let the FDA and other agencies know that Flagstaff believes it’s citizens have the very basic right to grow, sell and consume the food of their choice.
The preamble to the Flagstaff Food Freedom Ordinance says:
The City Council of Flagstaff believe residents have the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, gift, donate, and consume local foods thus promoting self-reliance, the preservation of family farms, and local food traditions. The City Council recognizes that family farms, sustainable agricultural practices, and food processing by individuals, families and non-corporate entities offers stability to our rural way of life by enhancing the economic, environmental and social wealth of our community. As such, our right to a local food system requires us to assert our inherent right to self-government. We recognize the authority to protect that right as belonging to the City of Flagstaff.
The City Council of Flagstaff has faith in its citizens’ ability to educate themselves and make informed decisions. They hold that federal regulations impede local food production and constitute a usurpation of our citizens’ right to foods of their choice. They support food that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, nourishes individuals and the community, and sustains producers, processors and the environment. They are therefore duty bound under the Constitution of the State of Arizona to protect and promote unimpeded access to local foods. The purpose of the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance is to:
i. Provide citizens with unimpeded access to local food;
ii. Enhance the local economy by promoting the production and purchase of local agricultural products;
iii. Protect access to farmers’ markets, roadside stands, farm based sales and direct producer to patron sales;
iv. Support the economic viability of local food producers and processors;
v. Preserve community social events where local foods are served or sold;
vi. Preserve local knowledge and traditional foodways.”
The text of the Flagstaff ordinance applies only to small farmers and home gardeners etc. who want to sell directly to their patrons. It will not apply to food sold at restaurants and grocery stores or other third party sellers as explained below:
“Section 4.1. Licensure/Inspection Exemption. Producers or processors of local foods in the City of Flagstaff are exempt from federal licensure and inspection requirements provided that the transaction is only between the producer or processor and a patron when the food is sold for home consumption or freely donated.”
The full text of the Food Freedom Ordinance can be found HERE.
Ultimately, the FDA and other agencies will probably go ahead and trample your rights and your garden if they choose to. This ordinance alone won’t stop them. But at least it will send a strong message that Flagstaff and Coconino County have no desire to assist them if they choose to go this route and attack one of the most basic freedoms we have.
In 2002, the City of Flagstaff stood up to federal agencies in a similar manner when they passed a groundbreaking ordinance against the Patriot Act. That ordinance demanded that federal agencies respect the rights of Flagstaff citizens while in town. In part it said:
“2. Any federal or state law enforcement officials acting within the City of Flagstaff work in accordance with the policies and procedures of the City of Flagstaff and when cooperating with City Departments, continue to guarantee the fundamental constitutional rights of all Flagstaff residents.”
With a Food Freedom Ordinance, the City of Flagstaff has an excellent opportunity to continue their track record of protecting our liberty and our rights.