Recently Spokane Tilth, a local sustainable food
and agriculture organization and a chapter of Washington State Tilth, sponsored
an "evening to honor our local farmers and gardeners and celebrate the harvest
The "Local Harvest Celebration & Potluck Dinner" was
billed as a fundraiser for the organization and folks were asked to donate a
minimum of $10 per family at the door. But, "no one will be turned away for lack
of funds, but please bring some prepared food to share." Participants were
encouraged to bring food that was grown or produced within a 100-mile radius of
Spokane. The celebration was all about local food.
The local health district must have decided that the
participants were "public enemy number 1." Their reaction is probably
common across the country these days.
"Spokane Regional Health District is cracking down
Last week, Spokane Tilth ran a small newspaper announcement
that it was holding a potluck meal during its harvest celebration. Spokane Tilth
promotes sustainable agriculture. Many members are organic farmers. Their lives
revolve about being conscientious about what they eat.
But as soon as
Health District officials saw the potluck ad in the newspaper, they called Tilth
and threatened prosecution if the group went ahead with the potluck. Tilth went
ahead with the event — sans food.
According to Health Officer Dr. Kim
Thorburn, churches and other organizations can hold potlucks as long as they’re
for members only. But if they invite the public, it’s illegal.
program coordinator Chris Ostrander is not happy with a law banning a community
practice that’s thousands of years old. He plans a statewide campaign to
“decriminalize community potlucks.”
> Message: 7
> Date: Tue, 5
Nov 2002 05:54:08 -0500
> To: email@example.com
Allan Balliett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: Fwd: Re: [cg] Slow
> BACK on the recent Slow Food 'conference' in NYC...did
anyone on the
> list attend?
> The registration
fee was around $300, If I remember correctly. This,
> of course,
confirms the elitist accusations. I'm hoping, however,
> that someone
will tell me that there were activist rates, also.
> Expanding on
Adam's and other remarks, Slow Food Movement is one of
several attempts to preserve the 'local taste' that is being
worldwide to the worldview that spawned NAFTA, the view
> the believes
everything will be better if everything is the same.
Organic Certification is another step in this worldview,
organics to a list of approved inputs while ignoring the
ecological and biological emphasis of grassroots organic
> farming and
> Robert Graves said that when the taste for local
cuisine is lost,
> then everything is lost and people readily follow men
> local taste can be lost forwever in one
> since the senses of taste and smell are so
difficult to chronicle. I
> feel that the obligation to preserve
these local flavors have fallen
> on we who are sensitive to
realize their preciousness.
> A person can internalize these
values and occasionally cook meals of
> AUTHENTIC INGREDIENTS,
from FRESH, LOCAL, ECOLOGICALLY GROWN sources
> and still feel
part of this movement.
> Great for potlucks, folks. What are you
doing this Sunday? ;-)
> -Allan Balliett
> BD Now! The
Biodynamic Food and Farming Discussion Group