May 1, 2014
Interesting proposal and some very good points. I think urban farming and neighborhood markets could be great in many ways, and may be okay to de-regulate, as long as sellers honestly disclose all info on their produce (use of pesticides and fertilizers, GMO etc.). And buyers understand the produce was not tested for safety so they can consume it at their own risk, without filing law suits if there are health problems later on. This has been done for centuries in the less wealthy countries. It can be done in the developed world as well, if we can embrace the necessary cultural change. Cheers !..
Jun 19, 2014
Localization of food production is becoming a big micro-industry. That is to say many people are advocating it and many are doing it. Perhaps you should tie this in with the research on green roofs. Soil and plants on roofs insulate and reduce urban heat island effects and reduce pollution. If enough roofs were planted with food crops, they may produce a decent proportion of the food needs of the city. I don't suggest feedlots on the roofs but fresh fruit and vegetables might be possible, fruit trees in parks, allotments for people to work, and - as you suggest - farmer's markets that exempt small producers from food safety regulations (buyer beware). One of the reasons that green roofs have not 'taken off' as we might hope is that much of the benefit is not captured by the property owner. Energy savings are small compared to the capital cost so any way to raise the value of green roofs could be very effective. If the markets thrive, demand for local produce will grow and more roofs will be adapted for greenery.
Aug 5, 2014
We like the idea of de-regulating local markets, but your proposal is incomplete in many areas and doesn't address key questions of why there is regulation in the first place. How could neighbourhood markets be de-regulated without giving up the benefits of regulation, such as food safety?