I’m That Guy Who Writes About Food (and Law)

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Are you all as obsessed with alt text as are Reason readers?Greetings, fellow Agitator fans. I’m Baylen Linnekin, a lawyer (and holder of an advanced degree in agricultural and food law) who founded and leads the Washington, DC-based grassroots food freedom nonprofit Keep Food Legal. We advocate on behalf of our members (hint!) and supporters for the rights of everyone to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, share, cook, eat, and drink the foods of their own choosing. But we take an “eat and let eat” attitude in that we don’t advocate for any particular food choices. In that vein, we’ve fought for the rights of raw milk and Four Loko drinkers, food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants, and home gardeners and foie gras farmers alike.

My writing on food and food law has appeared in nerdy places (Chapman University Law Review, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Journal of Wine Economics, and the forthcoming second edition of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America) and slightly hipper spaces like Reason (where I write a weekly online food-law column), the Huffington Post, and Baltimore Sun. You can read a lengthier bio and learn more about me (including my Keep Food Legal-related publications and speaking appearances) and our great board at our website.

Longtime Agitator readers may note this is my second guestblogging stint here. Longtime participants in The Agitator fantasy football league should also recall me as the guy who demolishes their foolish dreams of victory on what must now seem like an annual basis. (My secret to achieving multi-time winner status in The Agitator fantasy football league has been my savvy drafting of Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of his generation.)

Given my focus on food and food law (and since my price of guestblogging admission here was a promise to keep the New England Patriots hagiography to a minimum), I’ll be focusing this week on the prevalence of lousy food laws and regulations.

If you’d like to check out my latest online Reason column (on what I call the “food-safety fallacy”), you can do so here. If you’re blessed with free time, you can thumb through my Reason archives (including columns, online and print articles, and guestblogging stints) here.

One final note: Thanks to Radley for the invitation to hang out here with all of you and this great group of fellow guestbloggers. And best wishes to Radley as he writes his book, which I’m very excited to read.

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12 Responses to “I’m That Guy Who Writes About Food (and Law)”

  1. #1 |  thomasblair | 

    “Longtime participants in The Agitator fantasy football league should also recall me as the guy who demolishes their foolish dreams of victory on what must now seem like an annual basis.”

    Greetings from we lesser foodeaters, oh MF FOODEATER.

  2. #2 |  EBL | 

    Are we going to get Anthony Bourdain links this week?

    As for Brady, Go Giants.

  3. #3 |  (B)oscoH, Yogurt Eater | 

    There is one food choice you could safely advocate: yogurt. This year, in my fantasy football draft, I will be grabbing known yogurt eaters, such as Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco.

  4. #4 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Food Trucks: saw a nice ad for Austin TX that mentions “gourmet food trucks” as a reason for vacationing in Austin. The paper was a NH local—where food trucks in Manchester have a hard time even existing. But that’s because food trucks are dangerous and Manchester is already like one of the top tourist spots anyway.

  5. #5 |  SJE | 

    I’d be interested if you could opine a little on the FDA more generally. A lot of what you say about food could also be applied to drugs, and the boundary of food v drugs is somewhat arbitrary.

  6. #6 |  Other Sean | 

    Here is a grand paradox:

    1) Most people eat at least three times a day.

    2) Most people have sex fewer than three times a week.

    3) And yet, comments on Maggie’s sex worker thread outnumber comments on Baylen’s food freedom thread by a factor of nine to one.

    What can it all mean?

  7. #7 |  Baylen Linnekin | 

    #1 Thanks for the proper welcome!

    #2 Only if he does something cool. As for Giants, grrr.

    #3 “This year, in my fantasy football draft, I will be grabbing known yogurt eaters, such as Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco.” If your league plays for coin, please let me know so I can play against you.

    #4 I grew up in Massachusetts and so have been to Manchester. Like many who’ve been once, I don’t think I’ve been back.

    #5 My food & drug law prof. wrote a great article on the grey area between foods and drugs. He calls them “droods.” Article’s here: http://tinyurl.com/7rt9f34

    #6 People enjoy discussing the forbidden. Right now sex is more taboo than food. Give it a few years.

  8. #8 |  California Foie Gras Ban Challenged | The Agitator | 

    […] –Baylen Linnekin Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark […]

  9. #9 |  Food, Drink, and the Declaration of Independence | The Agitator | 

    […] –Baylen Linnekin Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark […]

  10. #10 |  English-Only Beer Sales? ¡No, Gracias! | The Agitator | 

    […] –Baylen Linnekin Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark […]

  11. #11 |  Five Star Fridays: Food Song Edition | The Agitator | 

    […] –Baylen Linnekin Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark […]

  12. #12 |  Return of the Agitator « The Honest Courtesan | 

    […] Baylen Linnekin and Drew Johnson opted for more formal introductions than the Popehat guys did, then Baylen followed with a links column, an article about a challenge to California’s foie gras ban and a linked list of other recent food bans.  He also posted “Food, Drink and the Declaration of Independence”, “English-Only Beer Sales? ¡No, Gracias!”, and a Food Song Edition of “Five Star Fridays”.  Drew wrote about a Tennessee government program to force poor people to take handouts they don’t want, a social experiment conducted on Facebook, Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccination campaign and a pork project called “The National First Ladies’ Museum”; he’s also posted a links page and a video of a disgraced congressman telling a joke in his resignation speech. […]

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