As I wrote in a 2010 law review article, The “California Effect” & the Future of American Food: How California’s Growing Crackdown on Food & Agriculture Harms the State & the Nation, the state’s growing regulatory climate “against food is worrisome across the country, too, since in addition to its place as the nation‘s breadbasket and culinary trendsetter, California is the country‘s cultural and regulatory bellwether.”
Some of America’s most innovative and important food trends have originated in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Yet the latter banned the construction of new fast food restaurants in parts of the city in 2008, and the former banished toys from Happy Meals in 2011. Statewide laws are no better. The state’s reviled foie gras ban took effect last year, and lawsuits enabled under Proposition 65, which requires ubiquitous warnings on products of all sorts throughout the state, have targeted grocers and restaurants across the state for years.
Against this significant backdrop of bad news is some good news for small food entrepreneurs in the state.