Maybe it’s because I live in the Bay Area, but if feels like in the past 5 years, the grassroots food movement has gone from grassroots to something more established, but not quite fully institutionalized. I’ve been hearing more and more about people prevented from selling their homegrown vegetables, dinner “clubs” that more closely resemble restaurants being shut down for operating without a permit, and lawyers and politicians getting involved. This is an example of an issue where I fully relate to both sides – I want my food to be safe to eat and I want the government to regulate eating establishments, but I also think we should be able to trust our neighbors not to spray invisible poison on their oversupply of vegetables that they’re trying to sell/trade on Craigslist! I think this is a fascinating new area of law and am interested to see where it goes.
Here’s proposed legislation for Berkeley: http://www.berkeleyediblegardens.org and here’s an interesting article about the legal nuances of food sharing: http://www.shareable.net/blog/the-shareable-food-movement-meets-the-law.