RON SCHALOW: All Vegetables Matter

I’ve lost several minutes of sleep over the past few weeks, and I’m sure that others were also on edge. The freedom of something was on line. Our food, it turns out, to my surprise.

I looked in the fridge. Everything was fine there, but then I learned that criminality was taking place in all corners of state, but nobody knew it, except maybe the freedom-stomping government.

Thankfully, the North Dakota Food Freedom Act, or HB 1433 for those who prefer the numerals for gambling purposes, or so I’ve heard from the Swedes, was passed by the House on Wednesday.

I believe there was an argument of sorts on the floor to spice up the video or wake up some of the hungover members. Maybe both. Anyway, it passed, and I think our liberty of our food is in the clear.

I wasn’t nearly as excited as the folks who run the aptly named “North Dakota Food Freedom Act” Facebook page, though. I’ve never been this jubilant.


“A big victory for Liberty!”

(Photo of the vote count board)


North Dakota Food Freedom Act, HB 1433, just passed the State House! 69-20

We send our sincerest appreciation to Reps. Luke Simons, Aaron McWilliams, Bill Oliver, Kathy Skroch, Dan Ruby, Rick Becker, Mike Schatz and Chris Olson for their courage and articulation on the House Floor.”

End Quote

Wow! And I thought everything was more thrilling. Liberty! The list looks full of the inglorious Bastiats. The Bastiat Caucus, to be precise. They love freedom more than you and have the courage to tackle imaginary issues.

On Tuesday.



Friends, tomorrow morning, shortly after 9 a.m., the House will vote on the amended North Dakota Food Freedom Act, HB 1433. This legislation will reduce government intervention against selling the safe, delicious farm fresh or homemade products that thousands of families consume every day. NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT.”

Here is where they start to lose me, more than my usual lost. Not to be picky, but A) You can’t reduce government intervention to less than zero. That’s where the food police draw the line. Total disinterest. B) I’ll decide what is delicious.

I couldn’t figure out the purpose of this bill right off, but then it became apparent that all of the carrots, potatoes and other delicious vegetables were a front to get raw milk legalized. That didn’t bother me. My assistant handles all milk-related issues. But the raw milk bothered someone who hates liberty, and the bill got watered down. Also, pasteurized and homogenized, which really got their goat, a critter that never gets any respect. The response:

“The House will vote THIS WEEK on the historic North Dakota Food Freedom Act, HB 1433. We cannot stress enough the importance of this legislation. This bill legalizes farm fresh and homemade products — including healthy, raw refrigerated foods — for direct to consumer sales.

Despite our concession to remove raw milk from the bill, it’s still extremely strong and sets a tremendous precedent. Because of this, it could be a huge BATTLE on the House floor to get it passed.

We fully expect the nanny-state bureaucrats to flood the desks and emails of House members with propaganda of some absurd, nonexistent epidemic of people getting sick from the foods they prepare and eat in their homes.

Remember this bill, as amended, clarified concerns about liability issues and establishes clear and full compliance with USDA meat inspection. It does nothing to affect existing food safety regulations or in any way impact commercial food production standards. It will diversify the economy and support more local foods from right here in North Dakota!

HB 1433 will foster economic growth for our small rural and urban food producers.

We absolutely must stand strong and protect our liberties and fundamental rights as consumers. This will be a big win for willing buyers and sellers who have delicious and safe products they wish to sell or exchange without government intervention.”

End Quote

Curious, and a little frightened by the “absurd, nonexistent epidemic of people getting sick, and the forthcoming huge BATTLE, I got a couple of questions in before the zucchini nanny apocalypse.

Ron Schalow “What can a farmer not sell at a stand, or a farmers market, currently?”

North Dakota Food Freedom Act “There are many foods, but it also depends on the health district. Part of what this bill does is codify uniform “cottage” type standards across the state. There’s a lot of foods, for example chicken noodle soup. You can sell the chicken, you can sell the carrots, and you can sell the noodles. But if you put them together, you can be a criminal. We want to change that. Plus, it’s not just about “farmers.” It includes our small urban food producers as well.”

Ron Schalow “Has anyone ever been arrested for selling chicken noodle soup.”

North Dakota Food Freedom Act “Not that we’re aware of. But current law does make them a criminal. This law fixes that.”

Chicken noodle soup, eh. I don’t care for cooked carrots, so I’ll stick to the Campbell’s. It tastes the same as it did a half-century ago. Maybe they just made one big batch in 1952, just in case the Cold War got extra warm and the bomb shelters needed stocking. All they had were those superstale crackers. I’ve tasted one. Terrible.

In the 1960s, customers got a free snub-nosed pistol with every case purchased. Ammo was nearly nonexistent, though, so most of the unusual prizes were used as paperweights and doorstops.

Nevertheless, let’s get everything that never was a problem “codified” because the prospect of becoming a criminal, while mountain climbing in Casselton, which is not currently frowned upon in the books, could become an issue.

I think we all can agree that the tectonic plates could shift at any point, and suddenly, the nice little town has Nepalese sherpas cutting trails to the top of Trump Mountain for rich, bored people. And Scheels is infested with healthy-looking types, with red faces, buying harnesses, carabiners (which are not allowed in church for various reasons), crampons and lots of varieties of rope. It would be unnatural and unsettling for old valley folks.

There should also be a law allowing drivers to bust through a herd of protesting melons, of any variety, that clog the road, along with any mask-wearing squash. You can do it now, but it should be “codified,” since a lot of people are reticent about killing food with their Michelins. It can get messy, but nobody has needed to hit the gas and aim yet, since melons are yet to be sentient or mobile. But can we take the risk?

Back in the olden days, when I was in the bar business, we bought horseradish or horseradish sauce. Whatever the proper name, this guy made it at home, or under a bridge for all I know, spooned it into Mason jars, and brought it in. He got paid, and we put it in our Bloody Mary mix, which really added a kick. I think it killed one guy who took a slug of it straight. That’s what I heard from Trump, anyway. He saw it somewhere. I know it could take varnish off of oak bar tops.

We also had free chili for our customers Saturdays. I can’t count the number of places our chili got cooked before getting ladled into 5-gallon pickle buckets, driven to the bar and poured into a big-assed roaster oven. Not one citation, arrest or death.

And as long as the Legislature is handing out proclamations, one to the doofus in the White House who probably didn’t know what he was signing, the Red River Valley red should be declared the best potato for baking.

Screw you Idaho — and your dry spuds. That goes for you, too, Eastern Washington!

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