SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — A new law in Iowa loosens regulations on people who wish to grow their own food and sell it within the state.
House File 2431 expands the opportunities for Iowans to sell food they made at home, but some growers say they still face many obstacles. Fruits and vegetables that do not have to comply with state regulations for time and temperature controls can be sold directly to consumers without a license.
Kenny Tietsort sells chicken as well as fruits and vegetables at the Sioux City farmer’s market. He said while the lower restrictions on fruits and vegetables are nice, he still faces many obstacles just to sell chicken in Siouxland.
“They have to be inspected by an Iowa facility and the only one in Iowa that butchers chickens is Greene, Iowa which is a four-hour drive for me one way,” he said.
He said the travel forces him to raise his price by six to eight dollars per chicken.
Melissa Gritzmaker makes dog treats for sale. She said she must submit her recipes to the Department of Agriculture for approval but said there are some benefits to the rules.
“I don’t mind doing it just because that way I can let my customers know that our treats are dog-safe, but it would be nice for it to be a little more lenient, but so far it’s been all right,” she said.
Amber Hobbs has been coming to Sioux City’s farmer’s market for the last five years. She said homegrown food brings Siouxlanders together.
“I trust people and I love the idea of community and this is the way we used to do things,” she said. “When I was a kid, you could have bake sales all the time and it was really nice to be able to buy homemade food from grandma or mom and I think it would be great to do.”
Iowans still need a home food processing establishment license to sell food such as poultry and milk products. Food processing establishments are still subject to inspection.