You asked for it. And now it's becoming a reality. Next month will mark the debut of Keep Food Legal's new monthly podcast, Eat and Let Eat. We've listened to your many requests that we launch a monthly podcast--and saw lots of positive chatter or Twitter and Facebook when we broached the idea of doing so recently. So now we've decided to take the next logical step.
Keep Food Legal executive director Baylen Linnekin will host the half-hour podcast, which will focus on current events in food regulation and food freedom, and will feature 1-2 expert guests each month.
"We're excited to launch this podcast," says Linnekin.
"'Eat and let eat' captures our message of food freedom perfectly," he says of the podcast's name, which comes from the longtime tagline that has adorned our Facebook page since we launched it two years ago. "We don't tell you what to eat. We tell you to eat what you want. And we defend your right to do so."
The first podcast, which will be taped in the coming weeks, is set to debut in June. If you or someone you know is a farmer, chef, food truck owner, lawyer, academic, or other person whose work and life happily revolves around food (but not so happily involves navigating food regulations) and who'd like to appear on a future podcast, please contact us.
Keep Food Legal will also soon launch a quarterly Google Hangout with members and supporters. Google Hangouts let up to ten people engage in a live video conversation across a variety of platforms. Linnekin will host the Google Hangouts, too, and expects to invite at least one special guest to take part in each Hangout. That would leave up to eight spots for our members and supporters to take part in an intimate conversation about food freedom.
We'll use social media to announce the podcasts and Hangouts. Follow us to stay up to date.
Today Keep Food Legal executive director Baylen Linnekin will testify before the DC Council in support of Washington, DC's vibrant food truck community. There's he'll join food truck entrepreneurs, litigators, fellow advocates, and members of the public to urge the council to reject proposed regulations that could prove a fatal blow to the District's food trucks--and harm consumers and the District's tax base in the process.
"The proposed regulations would restrict uses of public space that are good for District consumers and District coffers alike," says Linnekin, in a preview of his testimony. "They are arbitrary, unreasonable, and unfair."
"Keep Food Legal and its members and supporters urge the DC Council to reject the proposed food truck regulations," he says. "The rules would favor uses of public space by powerful, well-funded, politically connected, and entrenched businesses over the use of often entirely different space by smaller, less powerful entrepreneurs."
In an op-ed that appears in today's Washington Examiner (online), Linnekin writes that the proposed regulations are a draconian solution in search of a problem:
These proposed regulations would impose severe restrictions on where food trucks could park and sell food. The rules would assign some parking spots by random lottery, establish 500-foot exclusion zones around these lottery-designated spaces in which no other food truck could vend, and bar trucks from vending on any street with a sidewalk that is not at least 10-feet wide.
These arbitrary and punitive rules could kill off the District's vibrant food truck scene.
If you agree, take action at Save DC Food Trucks.
If you want to learn more, please read our many writings in opposition to regulations that would curtail food trucks--in DC and around the country--at our Publications page.
Keep Food Legal executive director Baylen Linnekin is excited to speak this Wednesday at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, thanks to an invitation from Cornell's Department of Politics and the Berry Center for Economics, Business, and Public Policy. This will be Linnekin's first-ever trip to Iowa.
In his lecture, Food Freedom, Linnekin will discuss his groundbreaking research into the forgotten role that struggles over food rights between the American colonists and their British rulers played in shaping the Revolutionary War, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights--and the significant legal and historical implications of that history. The issue is particularly relevant today because government officials increasingly refer to the Founding Fathers--incorrectly, Linnekin argues--to support their claims that food freedom is not a vital part of this nation's history and traditions.
"It's become quite fashionable to claim that the Founding Fathers were somehow silent on the issue of food freedom," says Linnekin. "In fact, the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights arose directly out of anti-British struggles for food freedom on the part of the Founding Fathers and everyday colonists alike."
Linnekin argues that his historical research into the Founding Era serves as a historical basis to establish a new and lasting period of food freedom in America--something that is at the heart of Keep Food Legal's mission.
"When the FDA tells a farmer he has no right to milk his own cow while claiming that's exactly what the Founding Fathers would have done, or when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrongly invokes the Founding Fathers to defend his soda ban, it's important to reveal just how wrong they are," says Linnekin. "It's also important to use historical facts to demonstrate that food freedom is a vital part of America's past, present, and future, rather than some wishful invention of modern activists."
In addition to his lecture at the Berry Center, Linnekin will also visit one of the college's classrooms and lecture on the role social entrepreneurship can and does play in helping shape and reform contemporary food policy. He'll also have lunch with faculty and students.