Homemade Food

California: Do Not Make an Uber Mistake with Homemade Food!

In February 2017, a bill was introduced in the California legislature to expand the types of homemade foods allowed to be sold in California, especially hot meals. The bill, AB 626, was introduced by Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia and Joaquin Arambula and it is sponsored by a for-profit tech company called Josephine, operator of a web app that offers homemade food for sale. The bill passed out of the Assembly Health Committee but then stalled in the Appropriations Committee, where it will be brought up again for consideration sometime in 2018.

After much deliberation and meetings with stakeholders around the state, we’ve decided that we will only support further homemade food legislation if it ensures some form of community ownership of any web platforms intermediating the sale of homemade foods. We have seen too many problems in the "gig economy" to trust that legislation written by tech industry lobbyists will create opportunities in the food system without harmful consequences for workers and public safety. This is a crossroads moment for the food movement: Will homemade food be taken over by the likes of Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb, or will it build on the success of community-driven institutions like farmers’ markets?


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! We need your help to advocate for community-controlled food systems. 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.


Please write to Christina@theselc.org if you have concise feedback to share via email or if you’d like to invite us to a more in-depth conversation with your organization or community group.



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