Why Are Farm-to-Fork Dinners Viewed as a Public Health Threat?
21 Aug, 2012
by Christine Kapperman, via NewHope 360
Farm-to-fork dinners have sprouted wildly from California wine country to Colorado’s ski country USA to the more rugged countrysides of America. Most of the beautiful dinners pass in pastoral peace, but others have pit farm independence against government regulation.
The events featuring local foods right in the field where they may have grown, have increasingly captured the attention of foodies, locavores and others with a penchant for the often pricey picnics. But host farmers also have experienced the bugaboos of government regulation as they attempt to comply with county zoning rules as well as local health codes.
Others choose to fly under the radar, especially after headline-grabbing events such as the Nevada dinner in which a health inspector demanded organizers pour bleach over the food to ensure the event would not continue.
Regulations gone overboard?
One Colorado county government, though, plans to set the rules before problems poison the fun and growing business opportunity. Boulder County, a unique place more likely to see such events as tastemaking rather than trouble inducing, is drafting an ag code amendment to specifically allow farm dinners without need for special review permission.
“We’re aware of farm-to-table dinners that are occurring right now in the county, and they are not explicitly allowed,” county planner Abby Shannon, who called the dinners a “gray area” in the current code, told the Daily Camera newspaper. “We haven’t been tested on it either way.”