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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Inspectors and the Farmers' Market

It was only a matter of time. Thursday, at the local farmer's market, the inspectors invaded. They came out in force. The agriculture people were there. Even the maple syrup inspector showed up. Exactly one vendor sells maple syrup at the market. As far as I know, they didn't find anything out of line with anyone's product.

I talked to the maple syrup person for a bit. Had no idea how tough the inspector can be. If one container of syrup is not labeled to the inspector's satisfaction, he can open the whole batch. If the batch number is missing, the producer's complete stock can be opened and tested.

I'm of two minds about that. On one hand, it seems the inspector could take pretty draconian steps. What if a label had fallen off? Should a producer lose their stock because of it?

On the other hand, I can be pretty sure about the purity and quality of New Hampshire maple syrup. No one wants to mess with the inspector. That does add value to the NH brand.

Many sweeteners are now adulterated with high fructose corn syrup. (HFCS) Chinese honey is notorious for being cut with cheaper HFCS. Now I hear that agave syrup is often cut with HFCS. My buddy from KY informs me that even mom and pop producers of sorghum cut it. The pure product is hard to find as they don't label that it's mixed with HFCS.

The NH maple syrup inspector is also the honey inspector. I'm told there will be local honey at the farmers' market soon. Really looking forward to picking up a lot of local honey. I've a great sweet mead recipe that requires 15 pounds honey. Haven't made it in a while due the high price of honey. Maybe I can barter. Give me the honey I need to make mead, and I'll give back a certain number of bottles.

Not really surprised to see the inspectors. Government does what government does. If they stick to actually protecting the public from bad products, then I suppose I can live with it. However, if they are there to kill the market, that's another thing entirely. Another thought: state funds are tight right now. How likely is it that inspectors have been told to generate a little revenue to fill the coffers?

I know some of the people behind the market. They really do seem to have their act together. That should keep government interference to a minimum.

Would really hate to lose the local market. It's nice to have some fresh veggies, fruit, and local meats, but I've really fallen in love with the cookies and hard cider. Gotta keep those local producers in business. Then there is the chance to get out in the community. Really love connecting with old friends and meeting new.



  1. Sixbears, the .gov types don't give a crap about you and me. They're simply "following orders" much as the Nazis did, and collecting an overstuffed paycheck for their "loyalty" to the collective. They're enforcing draconian rules that strip us of our Liberty, and they choose the "low hanging fruit" for their harassment. Those who they know can't afford to fight back. I do not welcome these interlopers, not one bit. I'd much rather depend on my senses to protect me than these senseless government idiots...

  2. Wow. I am not sure what happens here in Australia but I don't think it is anything like that. I go to the markets every week and get fresh fruit and vegs. I have got to know the sellers and have my preferences as getting to know them helps me to trust the source. I just use commen sense. I don't buy of some of them as you can clearly see they just go and buy from the larger market in the city and then bring it here to palm of as fresh farmer produce. I get eggs from the market as well which are from a local organic and freerange farm. I don't have chooks of my own as yet. And as for honey - how expensive is it where you are? I can buy local honey for $5.00 a kilo from the local honeyman. Cheers, Wendy

  3. The inspectors really aren't doing me any good. I know a goodly number of the producers. Been out to their operations.

    As for eggs, they go so fast that if you don't show up early, they are all gone. I had a dozen set aside for me last time. We have a barter thing going on.

    As for the price of honey, I don't know the exact price right now. Your prices seem quite a bit better than mine. However, I don't expect to actually pay money for most of my honey this year.

    Don't expect to see the inspectors for the rest of the season -one advantage of being at the far far end of the state from the capital.

  4. You know if people did not cut corners and had virtue none of those inspectors would have existed in the first place. But a bunch of idiots in Chicago back in the early 20th century got caught with even human body parts, sliced off in work accidents and falling in, in their sausage. This was exposed and bingo an FDA was created. This is why individuals need to be slapped hard when they fail in their virtue.