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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Year of Plenty

Flurry of Legislation That Will Change the Food We Eat

The biggest news on the legislative front is that the Health Care bill that Obama just signed includes provisions that will require fast food restaurants to post the caloric content of menu items, So starting next year you'll see the calories of a Big Mac combo meal on the big board along with the price. I wonder if there will be any menu tweaking before the law goes into effect to bring down the calories in some menu items that are really high?

On a more local level, the Idaho legislature has been working to update their animal cruelty laws to circumvent a flood of California farms seeking to avoid their stringent new laws prohibiting cruel confinement practices. Northwest Food News reports:

It appears that a bill sponsored by Idaho Senator Tim Corder to update Idaho’s animal cruelty laws, which passed the Idaho Senate with a 34 to 1 margin, has been stalled and perhaps killed thanks to House committee leader Representative Tom Loertscher.

Idaho’s animal cruelty laws have been ranked by several organizations as some of the most lax in the country. Attempts to address that issue was the subject of a recent Edible Idaho program called “Animal Welfare on the Farm.”

According to AP reports “Rep. Tom Loertscher, an eastern Idaho rancher and House State Affairs Committee chair, won’t give [the bill] a hearing because he doesn’t like provisions that threaten livestock owners who don’t provide medical care to sick or injured animals with a misdemeanor.”

And finally Washington State Governor Gregoire signed into law the HSB 2402 yesterday to exempt non-profits that host farmers markets from paying property taxes. And it all started in Spokane.

Year of Plenty

The Year of Plenty blog was created by Craig Goodwin in the winter of 2008 to chronicle the experiences of his family as they sought to consume everything local, used, homegrown or homemade. That journey was a wonderful introduction to people and movements in the Spokane area who are seeking the welfare of the community through local foods, farmers markets, community gardens, sustainable transportation, and more fulfilling and just patterns of consumption. In 2009 and beyond the blog will continue to report on these relationships and practices, all through the eyes of a family with young children. Craig manages the Millwood Farmers' Market, is a Master Food Preserver and Pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church. Craig can be reached at