Nosestretcher alert: small farms produce safest food?

Are small farms incompatible with food safety rules?

Deborah Stockton, executive director of the National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA), said today,

"Small farms produce the safest food available, without regulation. … Just like family farms brought us out of the Great Depression, they can bring us out of the food safety problem and this recession, if they are allowed to thrive.”

Sounds like someone is compensating for inadequacy issues and responding with exaggeration, like a 50-year-old in a Miata rag-top.

The idea that food grown and consumed locally is somehow safer than other food, either because it contacts fewer hands or any outbreaks would be contained, is the product of wishful thinking.?

Maybe the majority of foodborne outbreaks come from large farms because the vast majority of food and meals is consumed from food produced on large farms. To accurately compare local and other food, a database would have to somehow be constructed so that a comparison of illnesses on a per capita meal or even ingredient basis could be made.

NICFA is gonna lobby Washington, D.C. types and then hold a local foods feast for Congress tomorrow night. I hope no one gets sick – faith-based food safety is a lousy approach.