Past Policy Effort: Protecting 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 was introduced in the California Legislature (AB 626) to expand the types of homemade foods allowed to be sold in California, especially hot meals. It was a crossroads moment for the food movement -- Would homemade food be taken over by massive tech platforms, or would it build on the success of community-driven institutions like farmers’ markets and worker cooperatives? 

After many conversations with stakeholders from around California, the Law Center decided that we could not support the legislation as it was written. Our primary concern was that the "gig economy" has shown itself to "disrupt" industries for the primary benefit of investors and outside shareholders, leaving workers behind. This legislation was written under the direction of tech company executives and lobbyists to meet the needs of tech platforms and their investors, and we believed it would have harmful consequences for home cooks and public safety. Our intention was to improve the policy proposal by expanding opportunities for home cooks to operate lawful businesses, while also curbing the powers of Big Tech in the food system (see links below for details).

Past Policy Proposal: Download summary proposal (2 page pdf). Download full policy proposal (6 page pdf).


Other News About Homemade Food Laws:

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