Awesome! Buying local food is not always financially viable, so let’s fund it with a federal program. Lyndsey Layton in The Washington Post concerning the federal government’s new program to fund mobile slaughterhouses to promote the Obama agenda of buying locally grown food:
When Kathryn Thomas wanted to turn her sheep into lamb chops, the federal government required her to haul them across Puget Sound on a ferry and then drive three hours to reach a suitable slaughterhouse. Not anymore. These days, the slaughterhouse — and the feds — come to her.
A 53-foot tractor-trailer rattles up to her farm on Lopez Island, the rear doors open and the sheep are led inside, where the butcher and federal meat inspector are waiting. When the job is done, the team heads out to the next farm.
The slaughtermobile — a stainless steel industrial facility on wheels — is catching on across the country, filling a desperate need in a burgeoning movement to bring people closer to their food. It is also perhaps one of the most visible symbols of a subtle transformation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, long criticized for promoting big agribusiness.
I’m a HUGE supporter of eating locally grown food. I prefer to eat it, and buy meat from the Jessamine County Beef Cattle Association as often as I can for the very same reasons that other Eat Local supporters do. My own business encourages people to eat their own organically grown food (what could be more local than eating fruits and vegetables from your own back yard, patio, or indoor garden?). But forcing this agenda of “Eat Local” via public monies is the wrong way to promote environmentally sustainable practices, because it isn’t financially viable. As soon as the public monies disappear, the market disappears because it is simply too expensive to be supported in anything other than a niche market (why else provide public money for something if it is already financially viable?).
It occurs to me that, in this situation, the very reason the current government feels compelled to “do something” is so that they might combat their own shitty policies of requiring USDA slaughterhouses to conform to expensive regulatory laws, which, in turn, force ranchers to spend shit loads of money to have their livestock shipped to “approved” processing plants making their end product prohibitively expensive for most consumers. Here’s an idea: get rid of the excessive regulations which actively keep local ranchers from being competitive without public subsidies, and perhaps, if the market agrees that eating locally grown food is best, people will buy in to it all on their own. It’s just a thought.
“But meat processors are all part of eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil multi-national corporations and will surely kill us purposefully with rotten meat if the government were not here to protect us!” will yell all of the “Government is Our Saviour” lefties. My only reply is “You mean we always had the USDA to protect meat eaters from harm?” I mean, it isn’t like we humans evolved over millions of years because of our ability to find and eat meat without the USDA’s help. But, as standard operating procedure shows us, when government creates barriers to business owners, to those in government and their statist followers, the only answer is even more government intervention to “combat the problem.”
2010-06-20 » madlibertarianguy