Monday, January 5, 2009

Food Rules!

Happy New Year!

We're already deep in preparations for Market at the Square's 30th season (116 days away!); part of that preparation involves evaluation of policies and procedures for vendors, so when The Land Connection the chance to co-sponsor Food Rules, we jumped at it.

Confusion over what's legal and what isn't in terms of prepared foods at farmers' markets is a perennially thorny issue all over the state of Illinois, due mainly to county-by-county differences in regulation. Food Rules is a traveling workshop making its way around the state, with panelists from state and county health departments and other agencies meeting up with panelists from local and regional markets (food producers and market managers) to explain regulations to and answer the questions of existing or would-be producers.

From The Land Connection's official press release:
Consumers are demanding fresh, local produce at an increasing rate and regional farmers are stepping up production to meet that demand. To support farmers as they assess and address the legal and financial risks of producing, processing, and marketing farm products to their communities, The Land Connection and the University of Illinois Extension are collaborating to host Food Rules workshops throughout the state. "Farmers are sometimes unaware of the many rules and regulations that apply to producing, transporting, and selling meats, eggs, cheese, jams, pickles, or baked goods,"says Terra Brockman, founder of The Land Connection. "This workshop will provide information, and allow participants to ask specific questions to the regulators and experts on the panel."

The City of Urbana/Market at the Square is proud to be working with the The Land Connection, University of Illinois Extension of Champaign County, and the Champaign County Farm Bureau to bring Food Rules to the community. For information about registration, click here. For the event's Facebook page, click here. For the City of Urbana's page about the event, click here.

I'll also be on WCIA this Thursday morning at 6:50 and 7:25 AM to chat with Anne Dill about Food Rules, the growing role farmers' markets are playing in our food procurement, and what's so great about knowing where your food comes from.


A couple recent articles of interest:

Honey Laundering - read here about honey smuggling. It's kind of incredible.
Civil Eats - this blog has recently re-launched - lots of excellent stuff to read.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Thanks for this good info and for all of your work on behalf of local food. I'll have to remember to check you out on TV! I am also counting the days till the new season starts.