Food Chain Radio News
Food Chain Radio Michael Olson
Urban Farming Agriculturalist
KNEADING SOME DOUGH
Which is most important: food safety or food sovereignty?
Guest: Mark Stambler, Pagnol Boulanger
Knead water, salt, yeast and flour together and what do you get? The food safety police.
At least, that was what Mark Stambler got when the homemade breads baked in his backyard wood-fired oven became famous throughout Los Angeles County.
For decades, Stambler’s bread baking was a hobby that won him blue ribbons at the Los Angeles County Fair and the California State Fair. Then he decided to take the leap from avocation to vocation, and so began selling his breads at select retail locations.
Food Chain Radio Michael Olson hosts Mark Stambler, Pagnol BoulangerStambler's Bread
Food Chain Radio Michael Olson hosts Mark Stambler, Pagnol BoulangerStambler’s Bread
Word of Stambler’s breads spread from hungry mouth to hungry mouth, and in 2011 the LA Times featured the breads in a full page article. Stambler’s fame, however, was short lived, as the very next day the food safety police showed up to shut him down. Stambler the baker then became Stambler the cottage food activist.
With the help of a friendly politician and a lot of fight, Stambler championed a “California Homemade Food Act,” which was passed into law. In January of 2013, eighteen months after being shut down by the food safety police, Stambler became the first person in Los Angeles County to sell homemade food legally.
Stambler’s fight for the right to sell homemade foods leads us to ask…
Which is more important: food safety or food sovereignty?