I went to an interesting workshop on the relatively new California Homemade Food Act (AB 1616). Basically it allows an individual to produce a number of food items in her/his home kitchen for resale either directly from home, through CSAs, Farmers’ Markets, and Festivals and events, or indirectly through third parties like restaurants and local shops.
The beauty of the law is it supports small local business people, that can’t or choose not to use the industrial methods typically required by the food industry. The products are limited to a certain number considered of relative low risk for foodborne illness like jams, baked goods, granola, and others.
In an ideal way, this would mean a farmer with a CSA could jar her/his own preserves and jams and include them in the weekly deliveries, your neighbor who makes the best granola can now make a profit selling to the neighborhood, and people with new business ideas can start out small to try them out.
I’m excited and intrigued, and hope that the bill continues to adapt to make small, local, homemade, community driven business thrive.