Friday, February 24, 2012

Help make backyard bread legal -- pass the Calif. homemade food act!

Mark Stambler's rustic Pagnol loaf
Silver Lake food artisans are on the cutting edge of making urban agriculture pay off and benefit makers and consumers, but local laws often try to prevent their activities.
Silver Lake Farms' proprietor Tara Kolla kicked off the push to pass Los Angeles' Food and Flowers Freedom Act in 2010 so she could sell flowers and fruit, while Forage was at first blocked from accepting home produce but then started the Home Growers Program to help neighborhood gardeners get certified to contribute to the restaurant.
Now Mark Stambler, whose delicious Pagnol bread was covered by EatingLA in 2010, is at the forefront of trying to pass the statewide California Homemade Food Act. Mark appears on the Eat: LA segment on KPCC's Off-Ramp this week talking about the bill introduced by Silver Lake assemblyman Mike Gatto.
This bill isn't just for Silver Lake, though -- it's high time that the entire state's jam makers, granola blenders, coffee roasters and candy makers are able to sell homemade products at farmer's markets and elsewhere. More than a dozen states already allow this, so there's no reason California shouldn't get with the program. You can help by signing the petition on the Cottage Food Law website, and let your assembly members know you have an interest in this bill. Here's some local assembly members, who all have contact forms on their websites:
Mike Gatto -- assembly member for Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Glendale, Burbank
Anthony Portantino -- assembly member for Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Alta Dena, South Pasadena
Gil Cedillo -- assembly member for Silver Lake, Echo Park, Downtown

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