The Louisiana State Senate Committee on Health and Welfare will hear Senate Bill 18 next Wednesday, April 17th–so Louisiana is one tiny step closer to passing a “home baking bill”. This bill would allow home bakers to sell cakes and cookies produced in a home kitchen to the general public. Read the bill’s full text here.
Now, if you read this blog, you know I’m a bread baker, so I wrote to the committee and asked for the inclusion of bread in the allowed foods list. Here’s the text of my letter to the committee below:
Members of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee:
I am writing to express my support for Senate Bill 18, which goes before the Senate Health and Welfare Committee next Wednesday, April 17th. If made law, this bill would allow home-based bakers to prepare cookies and cakes in home kitchens for sale to the public. Baked goods are shelf-stable at room temperature, pose very low risk of food-borne illness, and are already created and shared from home kitchens every day.
I would really like to see the bill expanded to specifically include breads. Breads pose even less risks of food-borne illness than cakes or cookies, as breads quickly stale into unpalatability and become inedible long before any risk of illness from spoilage is present.
Allowing home bakers to legally sell the products from home kitchens is a form of economic empowerment: present state regulations place expensive burdens on startup bakers who must create entirely separate baking kitchens with commercial-grade equipment. Especially in rural areas, a bakery business might never achieve profitability due to relatively modest demand for the products. A small town, home based baker can offer a quality product to neighbors without having to “scale up” the business to unsustainable levels.
Again, I write to express my support for SB 18, and to plead for the addition of breads to the list of allowed products in the bill’s text.
If you want to contact the Senate Health and Welfare Committee to express your support, feel free to borrow the text above or to write your own. Here are the nine members of the Committee, with email addresses:
Senator David Heitmeier(chairman) (New Orleans)
Senator Fred H. Mills, Jr(vice chair) (New Iberia)
Senator R.L. “Bret”Allain,II (Franklin)
Senator Sherri Smith Buffington (Keithville)
Senator Dan Claitor (Baton Rouge)
Senator Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb (Baton Rouge)
Senator Dale M. Erdey (Livingston)
Senator Elbert L. Guillory (Opelousas)
Senator Ben Nevers (Bogalusa)
Now go get involved in the democratic process, people.