November 12th, 2009 | by KELLY CLARKE News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Love outlawed at Oregon farmers markets.

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Local farmers market sellers better start retooling their Thanksgiving pie and holiday cookie recipes. According to Nick Budnick, a reporter at the Bend Bulletin: "The Oregon Department of Agriculture wants Redmond's Sarah Yancey to stop putting love into the bread, cookies, jams and jellies she makes — or at least stop listing “love” as an ingredient, like flour or fruit." Apparently this past August an ODA inspector told her that "love was an impermissible ingredient because it can't be measured."

Wow. Now, Budnick (who was a staffer at WW years ago) is really just using Yancey's story as a window into the bigger battle brewing between the state government, who is starting to take a closer look at ingredients and Oregon farmers markets vendor practices in the name of food safety, and local vendors and farmers selling at markets, who totally want ODA to leave 'em alone. He also mentions other clashes up in Portland, where "Sarah Broderick, manager of the Hollywood Farmers Market, said the department warned vendors that having a dog in their booths would lead to immediate “closure” of the booth — even if the vendor was unaware of the four-legged intruder." And now, irritated vendor grumblings have made their way to Salem:
[Some] vendors and market managers are not happy with the agency's recent decision to take a close look at markets — and the critics have found a friendly ear in the Oregon Legislature. Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem, who heard complaints while shopping at a market in Portland, has invited representatives from the farmers markets as well as the Agriculture Department to testify at a hearing on Wednesday.

But still... outlawing love? Have a heart ODA.

You can read the whole story at bendbulletin.com (if you're a subscriber).
 
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