Currently, the retail sale of food or food products from the home are verboten in Denver. But, a new amendment to the Denver Zoning Code could allow some Denver residents to sell produce or so-called “cottage foods” (e.g., jam or salsa) from their homes in residential zoning areas. These cottage foods might include foods like spices, teas, dehydrated produce, nuts, seeds, honey, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butter, and certain baked goods and candy. But, not foods prohibited under the Colorado Cottage Foods Act implemented by the Denver Department of Environmental and Public Health.
Food sales and zoning in Denver has been a contentious issue that forced the closing of The Denver Cupcake Truck for a time being in 2011. But, the issues with homegrown foods don’t stop at the Denver City and County Building. The Food and Drug Administration has taken a decidedly strong-armed approach to regulating foods that it deems unacceptable – consumer choice be damned – we’re talking FDA raids. We know. Stop laughing.
A Reason article talks about how aggressive the FDA has gotten with small farms and personal gardens.
“That growing numbers of home gardeners and small farmers are being prosecuted for such inane ‘crimes’ as keeping chickens or making cheese speaks to a growing problem in America today, namely, the overcriminalization and overregulation of a process that once was at the heart of America’s self-sufficiency—the ability to cultivate one’s own food, locally and sustainably.”
The hearing is Monday night at 5:30 p.m. at the Denver City and County Building, Room 451. So, FDA, will we see you there?