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I love the discussion this article has sparked! It appears there are two primary schools of thought at work among the respondents. There are those that believe in free market capitalism and those that acknowledge that the market is no longer "free." I tend to believe that the market is not free, but rather is controlled by a government whose purpose is to maximize profit, and a feedback mechanism that values wealth over health.
To suggest that our current system is a "free market" is foolish. To believe the system is set up with anything but financial gain as a goal is similarly foolish. The degradation of our natural environment, of our personal health, and the health and resilience of our communities is viewed as an external cost of the status quo.
In writing this article I was suggesting that food is a useful avenue to express our disapproval of the current system. It is my belief that investing in a vibrant local food system can help to address many issues we face today; from the health of our land, our community and ourselves, to the toxic financial system we've seen propped up by the federal government, to the costly pharmaceutical-industrial complex being pushed on us.
I'm glad to see there was a consensus reached, and it is my hope that through these agreed terms we can continue moving forward in providing an alternative to the status quo. Competition is necessary in any healthy market place, and while the chips are currently stacked against the small farmer, the tides of change are upon us.
It is unfortunate that our County Officials view the gray area around these designations as a risk rather than an opportunity. Routt County has historically been an agricultural region, producing everything from lettuce and strawberries to beef, pork, chicken and other meats.
There are numerous individuals trying to provide food products in the county, unfortunately the primary barrier to entry is bureaucratic. There is a place for rules and regulations but to use such a broad set of guidelines as the International Building Codes, and expect prospective food producers to meet these standards is not practical.
It is unfortunate that the county commissioners are not willing to interpret the International Building Codes to work for our community. Rather than adhering rigidly to the codes, I believe it is the commissioners role to interpret these regulations to fit our community.
By viewing the gray areas as opportunities, Routt County could lead as an example of a viable, sustainable local food system.
Last login: Thursday, May 9, 2013
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