Democratizing the Homemade Food Industry

California, Let's Not Make an Uber Mistake with Homemade Food!

Join us in telling Sacramento that AB 626 puts the rights of tech platform owners above the rights of home cooks.


In 2012, the Law Center worked alongside allies and food movement leaders to pass the California Homemade Food Act. We are passionate about legalizing homemade food sales and providing increased opportunities for local food production and sales, especially for low-income entrepreneurs who don’t have the resources to access expensive commercial kitchens. In 2017, a bill AB 626, was introduced in the California Legislature to expand the types of homemade foods allowed to be sold in California, especially hot meals. Introduced by Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia and Joaquin Arambula, the bill is sponsored by a for-profit, venture capital backed tech company whose app (illegally) sells home cooked hot meals. The bill has been moving through the State Legislature in Sacramento ever since, continually being amended to benefit tech platform owners and their investors while leaving out the people who create the value for the tech companies: the home cooks!

After many conversations with stakeholders from around California, we’ve decided that we cannot support the current homemade food legislation. The "gig economy" has shown itself to "disrupt" industries for the primary benefit of investors and outside shareholders, leaving workers behind. The current homemade food legislation has been written under the direction of tech company executives and lobbyists to meet the needs of web app developers and their investors. We see harmful consequences for workers and public safety in this newest version of Silicon Valley disruption.

This is a crossroads moment for the food movement: Will homemade food be taken over by the likes of Uber and Amazon, or will it build on the success of community-driven institutions like farmers’ markets and worker cooperatives? Help bring home cooks back to the negotiating table.


Our Policy Proposal: Download our summary proposal (3 page pdf). Download our full policy proposal (6 page pdf).

Op Ed: Read our Policy Director Christina Oatfield's op ed in the Summer 2017 edition of Edible East Bay here.

Take Action! Find out how you can support these efforts in small and big ways.

Food News Blog posts:

But What's Legal Now? Looking for information on the current "Cottage Food Law" or Homemade Food Act that you can use to start a home-based food business in California now? Click here.



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