Food Series: Food Emancipation with Joel Salatin

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America’s food system is currently enslaved by bureaucratic shackles that prohibit the free exercise of food choice. While other freedoms were enshrined in the Bill of Rights, the freedom to choose food was not. The tragedy is that most folks don’t realize the ramifications of this prohibition.
~ Joel Salatin, “Food Emancipation Proclamation”

By Pete Kennedy

Joel Salatin returns to the Solari Food Series to talk about “Food Emancipation.” Joel is the longtime face of the local food movement in the U.S. From the high-quality food the Salatin family farm (Polyface Farm) produces, to his innovative farm techniques, to the 16 books he has written on food and farming, to the Polyface internship program, to his tireless evangelizing on healthy food and healthy food production, Joel has left an enormous footprint, and one that continues to grow.

Another area in which Joel has made an impact—the topic of this audiocast—is freedom of food choice. He has long advocated for a Food Emancipation Proclamation, a constitutional amendment on the right to obtain the food of one’s choice from the source of one’s choice. Joel is the cofounder, with John Moody, of the Rogue Food Conference (RFC), a series of events that have gotten lots of traction over the past few years. He is also the cofounder of the Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (VICFA), a Virginia-based organization whose mission is “promoting and preserving unregulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade that fosters availability of locally grown or home-based food products.” In addition, he is likely the only farmer ever to have written a book (Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal) entirely focused on the regulatory system.

Among other topics, Joel talks in this audiocast about his vision for the Rogue Food Conferences, discussing how farmers are using business models to legally circumvent burdensome, one-size-fits-all regulations and how they are increasingly asking the government for forgiveness rather than permission in the operation of their farms. He also covers his testimony before a House subcommittee on the PRIME Act—legislation with the potential to begin the sorely needed process of decentralizing meat production in the U.S. Finally, Joel discusses his new book, The Homestead Tsunami, and the acceleration of the back-to-the-land movement over the past few years. All of these topics tie into food emancipation and a constitutional amendment the Founding Fathers never thought necessary but which turns out to be something essential for the times we are living in.

Related Solari Reports:

Food Series: Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal – The War on Meat, Part III with Joel Salatin

Hero of the Week: July 4, 2019 – Small Farmer & Author Joel Salatin

Book Review: Polyface Designs by Joel Salatin & Chris Slattery

Joel Salatin in Santa Barbara

Joel Salatin on Pathways to Relocalization (four-part video series on rebuilding local communities and transforming commerce)

Related Resources:

Food Emancipation Proclamation (January 6, 2023)

Rogue Food Conference

Polyface Farm

Polyface Yum (Polyface online store: grass-fed beef, pastured pork, poultry, and other nutrient-dense foods; available for shipping anywhere in the U.S.)

Musings from the Lunatic Farmer (Joel Salatin’s blog)

The Stockman Grass Farmer (Joel Salatin, editor)

Selected Books by Joel Salatin:

Homestead Tsunami: Good for Country, Critters, and Kids

Polyface Micro: Success with Livestock on a Homestead Scale

Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front

You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start and $ucceed in a Farming Enterprise

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