By JR on Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Health department tyrants raid local 'farm to fork' picnic dinner, orders all food to be destroyed with bleach
It is the latest case of extreme government food tyranny, and one that is sure to have you reeling in anger and disgust. Health department officials recently conducted a raid of Quail Hollow Farm, an organic community supported agriculture (CSA) farm in southern Nevada, during its special "farm to fork" picnic dinner put on for guests -- and the agent who arrived on the scene ordered that all the fresh, local produce and pasture-based meat that was intended for the meal be destroyed with bleach.
For about five years now, Quail Hollow Farm has been growing organic produce and raising healthy, pasture-based animals which it provides to members as part of a CSA program. And it recently held its first annual "Farm to Fork Dinner Event," which offered guests an opportunity to tour the farm, meet those responsible for growing and raising the food, and of course partake in sharing a meal composed of the delicious bounty with others.
But when the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) got word of the event and decided to get involved, this simple gathering of friends and neighbors around a giant, family-style picnic table quickly became a convenient target for the heavy hand of an out-of-control government agency. And Monte and Laura Bledsoe, the owners and operators of Quail Hollow Farm, were unprepared for what would happen next.
Laura Bledsoe explains in a letter to her guests written after the fact that two days prior to the event, SNHD contacted the farm to say that, because the picnic was technically a "public" event, the couple would have to obtain a "special use permit," or else face a very steep fine. Not wanting to risk having the event disrupted, the Bledsoes agreed to jump through all the demanded legal hoops even though their gathering was really just a backyard picnic.
But the day of the event, an inspector from SNHD, Mary Oaks, showed up and declared that all the food the Bledsoes would be serving was "unfit for consumption," and that it would have to be destroyed. Though there was no logical or lawful reasoning behind this declaration, and the Bledsoes had complied with all the requirements, Oaks insisted that the food be discarded and destroyed using a bleach solution.
One of the so-called reasons for this action included the fact that some of the food packaging did not contain labels, even though labels are not necessary if the food is eaten within 72 hours. Oaks also cited the fact that some of the meat was not US Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified, that the vegetables had already been cut and were thus a "bio-hazard," and that there were no receipts for the food (which was all grown on the farm, not purchased from a grocery store).