Saturday, July 7, 2012
This article was written by Cassandra Anderson and originally published at MorphCity.com
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is promoting the Utah Garden Challenge in order to collect information about independent food production for the USDA.
The Utah Garden Challenge is a voluntary contest to register 10,000 gardens. The data mining project has a broad interest in any “resource” who is growing food:
Whether you grow a tomato in a pot, a row in a community garden, have backyard gardens, a CSA or working fruit and vegetable farm, we want to hear from you because you are an important resource as a food producer.
While the contest paints a proud face on independent food production, it is important to remember that registering with the government sets up a system to track, tax, permit or confiscate the registered item. Gun ownership is a good example of this scheme.
According to a pop-up window on the official website, participants’ gardens will be registered with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS):
We need to know how much food is being produced in Utah. The Census of Agriculture is done every 5 years. Every agricultural operation in Utah, regardless of size, is vital to this question. If you produce $1000 of agricultural products, you can influence economic development and decision making by filling out a NASS survey. We will only share your information with NASS by your permission. Your response to the census of agriculture is protected by law. For more information, you can go to www.agcensus.gov.
In other words, people who produce $1000 or more worth of food have an impact on the food market, and the USDA wants to know about what you are doing in your backyard.
Victory gardens in America produced up to 40% of all vegetables consumed during World War II, with over 20 millon home gardens and community plots that produced over 9 million tons of food.
The USDA is notorious for its corrupt partnerships and revolving door business relationships with big commercial agriculture.
Government Crackdowns & Food Control
Food is under attack because if you can grow your own food, have access to water and shelter, then what use do you have for a government master?
The federal government has profoundly overstepped its constitutional authority on all fronts, and there are a number of examples of the USDA’s outrageous control over food that include SWAT team raids on raw milk sellers and fruit tree confiscation.
The Food Safety Modernization Act expanded the power of the FDA and its sister agency, the USDA. The law is bad for many reasons and is an overwhelming burden on small and independent farmers due to over-regulation and increase in paperwork and reporting.
Additionally, the FBI identifies people who store food as potential terrorists!
Why Is Utah A Threat?
1. A few months ago Utah voted down a Food Freedom Bill that would have made it a crime for anyone, including Utah state agents, to enforce the Food Safety Modernization Act’s unconstitutional mandates. It would have made farmers who trade only inside of state lines exempt. The bill was a direct constitutional challenge to federal overreach.
2. Highland City, Utah passed a Food Freedom ordinance that exempts residents from federal regulations on food that is produced, exchanged and consumed within city limits (state laws still apply).