Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lemonade, follow-up post

Image from HERE
I once had a discussion with the editor of our local community newspaper.  I suggested that he run an insert listing all of the local sweet corn vendors, their hours and the varieties that were available.

He thought it was a good idea.

The feedback he received from the actual vendors of sweet corn was uniformly negative.  They could not economically justify the expense of a $200 business license for a three week sales season.  Nor could they justify the intrusion, and attendant costs of the Health Department for a product that was wrapped in husks and boiled before consumption.

They preferred to stay off-the-radar.  Invisibility is the next best thing to perfection.

Let's skip all of the steps in the middle

Edible products with a pH less than 4.0 pose a miniscule risk to public health.  Sure, there are all kinds of microbes that thrive in pH less than 4.0.  The yeasts that produce wine are a prime example.  But pathogenic organisms that can blithely reproduce and generate toxins in sub 4.0pH media are a rare beast  indeed.

pH meters are cheap and robust.

The risk to Michigan taxpayers, voters and their children is vanishingly small.

In a similar vein, there are some products like sweet corn, bananas and eggs that are delivered from God with a tamper-resistant wrapping.

If legislature wanted to do something useful, they could exempt foods and beverages with low pH and foods with as-grown coverings from the majority of Health Department burdens.  They could also exempt "ephemeral" businesses (Strawberries, cucumbers, sweet corn, leaf raking etc.) from the necessity of registering with the county.

We are not recruiting enough new businesses.  One business in seven was a "new business" in 1978.  We are down to one-in-twelve.
We get more of what we reward and less of what we penalize.  We should be facilitating new businesses, not punishing them.

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