A Coordinated Approach to Food Safety and Land Use Law at the Urban Fringe
23 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2014 Last revised: 22 Jul 2017
Date Written: December 10, 2014
Much has been written about the rise of the local food movement in urban and suburban areas. This essay tackles an emerging outgrowth of that movement: the growing desire of urban and suburban dwellers to engage rural areas where food is produced not only to obtain food but also as a means of tourism and cultural activity. This represents a potentially much-needed means of economic development for rural areas and small farmers who are increasingly dependent on non-farm income for survival. The problem, however, is that food safety and land use laws struggle to keep up with these changes and, as a result, often waffle between over-regulation and de-regulation. This essay posits a legal path forward to steer clear of regulatory extremes and to help the local food movement grow and prosper at the urban fringe.
Keywords: food safety, food, land use, cottage food, cottage farm, food sovereignty, food freedom, agritourism, economic development, rural, Food Safety Modernization Act, Tester Amendment, zoning, building codes
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