Arlington, Va.—The Wyoming Senate will decide this week whether to expand the state’s popular Food Freedom Law. The Food Freedom Law, which is the most permissive homemade food law in the country, allows the sale of homemade food, drinks and meals directly to consumers. Now, HB0084 would expand the law to allow the sale of shelf-stable homemade foods to retail shops and grocery stores. HB0084 would also remove a restriction in the law requiring purchased homemade foods to be eaten only inside the homes of consumers.
“HB0084 would create more income for farmers, stay-at-home parents, retirees, and anyone else who has talent in the kitchen,” said Wyoming Representative Shelly Duncan, the lead sponsor of the bill. “The bill would also allow consumers to buy more fresh, healthy and local food at affordable prices.”
The food freedom movement is spreading across the country, with 49 states allowing the sale of foods made in a home kitchen. This enables people to make food in their home kitchen instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars a year to work in a commercial kitchen and having to comply with burdensome food licensing regulations.
Wyoming’s Food Freedom Law is currently the best in the nation because it allows the sale of not just shelf-stable foods, but also meals and other foods requiring refrigeration, as long as the seller informs the consumer that the food is homemade and not regulated. There has not been a single reported illness from food sold under the law, which was first enacted in 2015.
Wyoming’s law, however, still lags behind other states in two important ways. First, it only allows sales directly to consumers, meaning a homemade food producer cannot even sell fresh bread or cookies to a coffee shop or grocer. In contrast, 15 other states allow sales of homemade foods to retailers. Second, the law also requires the consumer to eat any purchased foods in their home. This makes it illegal to eat a homemade piece of pie at a picnic or on the go. It also prohibits the sale of homemade wedding cakes. Few other states have this limitation. HB0084 would fix these restrictions.
“Wyoming’s food freedom law has already created much needed income for hundreds of families across the state and made it easier for people to buy fresh and local food,” said Erica Smith, Senior Attorney at the Institute for Justice, who has worked with Representative Duncan on the bill. “HB0084 is a commonsense change to catch Wyoming up to other states.”
HB0084 passed the House last week, and unanimously passed out of a Senate committee yesterday. The Senate will consider the bill for the first time today. The Senate will need to have three readings on the bill before it can pass. Cosponsoring the bill are Representatives Blake, Henderson, Hunt, Lindholm, Pelkey and Salazar, and Senators Boner, Driskill, Gierau and Steinmetz.
The Institute for Justice is a national nonprofit organization that fights to advance food freedom across the country.