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Pass the Cottage Food Law in California

Pass the Cottage Food Law in California

Today, I had a fascinating conversation with a group of people who make gourmet food in their homes. They make everything from lavender jelly to home-brewed beer. And it reaffirmed for me the importance of passing the Cottage Food Law in California.

A Cottage Food Law in California would give food artisans like the ones I met today the opportunity to make their creations in home kitchens and sell them to the public. Several states already have laws on the books that allow it, and it is important for California to follow suit.

For many, starting a food business is daunting. Renting time in a commercial kitchen is hugely expensive, and often a barrier to entry. However, when individuals are allowed to use their home kitchens – assuming they meet their state’s safety standards – as incubators for their food businesses, the goal becomes much more achievable. This is significant because, when individuals who are deeply invested in the quality of their products are allowed to sell their goods to the public, another avenue is opened for creating new, local food systems and combating the corporate food system that contributes heavily to the poor health of the American people.



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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.


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8:15AM PDT on Sep 28, 2012

Here's the scoop, now that the law has passed.

There can be no potentially hazardous food prep like cutting fruit, using meat, dairy, ice cream, etc.

Direct sales to public require no heal inspection, just the word of the operator to follow prescribed health codes. A registration is required, however, so complaints may be followed up on.

Indirect sales require a one time initial scheduled inspection for an annual permit.

The list of approved foods currently contains no obvious healthy choices such as uncut fruits and vegetables... So those cannot be sold with this law as it stands currently.
The list includes breads, dried fruit, candy, chocolate covered things, fried foods that won't spoil like churros and chips.

How will this competition affect local small businesses like bakeries and candy shops when competitors can now sell from home with no overhead?

This law probably makes sense in affluent populations with clean homes and wholesome intentions, but what about the other 90% of California communities where small businesses barely hang onto any profit as it is and the droves of unemployed try desperately to make money out of their filthy kitchens in any manner offered to them?
Many don't even understand the concept of spoil able food...

6:53AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

My freaking dreams just came true, this is a changing day in my life i have wanted to do this for so many years and could not because of the high cost of kitchen rental, I cannot believe how happy Iam my life has just taken the biggest turn for the better than it ever has before....TIME TO CELEBRATE, IAM RICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOT WOOOOT SO SO SO HAPPY

5:16PM PDT on Sep 14, 2012

can be a solution for many

4:48PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012


1:20AM PDT on Aug 11, 2012

I would love this. I like home-made food but to not have to make everything myself would be brilliant.

11:36PM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

Everybody should have the right to grow their own vetables and their own food, but unfortunately, it is not always the case because a lot of private growers are being harrassed.

8:44PM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

Sound like a wonderful idea. More people would have access to more natural, better tasting food.

7:18AM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

We have pretty much out-lawed ourselves. I used to volunteer at a county retirement home. They had a farm there for the residents. At one time the place was self-sufficient. They raised their own meat, gardened and preserved their own vegetables, and the residents who participated in these activities maintained healthy self-esteem even though they could no longer live in their own homes. Then our government stepped in and said that they couldn't do that any more. There were still farm animals, but the gardens were turned into flower gardens (beautiful, yes, but...), and the administration was always worried about money. We need to make some changes.

11:44PM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Why should there even be a Law? It is natural and the people who love everything natural should be able to grow it, sell it, buy it and consume it.
Human animals are the most dangerous and illogic animals on this Planet!

9:46AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

I really don't see why this should be an issue, as, historically, people have just made food like this, and bartered with their neighbors for what they wanted.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Nice infographics ;)

Helpful information, thanks.

thanks for the info

"Swishing coconut oil or sesame oil around your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes..." Seriously, for 20 mi…


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