There are several measures in the Oklahoma Legislature that benefit entrepreneurial Oklavores:
Earlier this month, Governor Fallin signed the Oklahoma Honey Sales Act, [pdf; SB 716] which exempts small-scale beekeepers from inspection by the state health department. Effective immediately, the legislation requires direct sales and applies to operations that produce less than 500 gallons of honey.
Fallin also signed the Home Bakery Act [pdf; HB 1094], which exempts home bakeries (< $20,000 in sales) from the state health department licensing process. House Bill 1094 provides labeling requirements and defines “prepared food” as “any baked goods except for products that contain meat products or fresh fruit.” This leaves me pondering my jars of rendered animal fats… On that note, violations are a misdemeanor and are punishable by a maximum $100 fine.
A similar bill, the Oklahoma Cottage Food Law [pdf; SB 920] is awaiting a hearing in the House, where the deadline is before adjournment tomorrow. In some ways, SB 920 seems like a better bill, since it allows for jams, candies, pickles, etc., and provides more clarity. However, it requires a $175 permit from the state ag department.
Some good quotes from this long interview with reluctant good-food guru Michael Pollan:
“If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not really hungry.”
“Another good rule is: The first bite is the banquet. That’s a Chinese rule. Every subsequent bite will be less good. It’s never going to get better than that first bite, and once you realize that this is going downhill, you don’t need to have the sixth or seventh bite. I enjoy one bite of dessert a lot.”
“When I first published Food Rules, I said, ‘Don’t buy any processed foods with more than five ingredients.’ Within a year, there was a Häagen-Dazs* ice cream called Five. There was a Tostitos commercial on TV where this woman is buying chips for a party. She picks up a bag and says, ‘There are more ingredients here than I have guests coming to my party.’ And then she reaches for Tostitos, which only has three ingredients. None of them particularly healthy, but only three ingredients. So I added a new rule: Don’t buy any foods you’ve seen marketed on television.”
“Food is ecological as well as sociological—that the way we eat is connected to the environment and to the health of the land.”
*Häagen-Dazs, how I love thee!