Monday, June 2, 2008

From Organic Gardening August 1975

Anything in this style lettering is added by me.

Miller Battles "Enrichment" Red Tape

For more than 150 years, a mill at New Hope, N.Y. (now located in Auburn,N.Y it seems) has been grinding grain and building a reputation for quality in the flours it markets. Now the State Depart. of Agriculture has abruptly ordered that it "stop the practice of selling un-enriched flour at retail level". Owner Leland Weed refuses to follow the law demanding that he "enrich" the wheat, buckwheat, cornmeal, pancake, and other flours he grinds in the old water-powered mill along the Bear Creek. Weed says the recent state regulation requiring him to take part in a "statutory enrichment program" is a threat to independence and to the customers who come for whole-grain products, including crops from local farmers and Deaf Smith County in Texas.
Weed, who has operated the mill with his sons since 1947, has appealed the order. As a result, he's been granted verbal permission to continue producing flour as it has since 1823 until the department decides what to do. A state spokesman said that the mill could be shut down, if Weed refuses to add the chemicals. So far, the state has held off--after getting a heavy taste of public opinion in the mail. Experts from Cornell are to test the flours for nutritional levels, and a decision is to be made by the state attorney general on a possible exception.
Meanwhile, Weed says one state legislator at Albany plans to introduce a bill to allow the sale of "un-enriched" flours from mills such as New Hope. The angry miller also indicated that there has been a definite upswing in trade from people who've heard about his bureaucratic troubles. "Everyone should have the right to buy what they want--with or without vitamins," he stated. Besides letters many of the old mill's friends and other people outraged by the state's action have circulated petitions contending that it is their "privilege to be able to purchase New Hope Mills natural flour without being subjected to the state required addition of preservatives and other chemicals additives. Weed says he will go out of business rather than add chemicals.
The Sunday Citizen (Auburn, N.Y.) in an editorial headed "State Makes Blunder in New Hope Mills Case," commented: "Hopefully those of us who respect New Hope flour will keep up the pressure to keep down Albany's imposition.....The foolishness of the state flexing it muscles on the small mill in remote New Hope is obvious. As obvious as the certainty that people who go out of their way to purchase the New Hope flour know what they're getting. If the state doesn't have a special permit program for mills like this, it ought to get one. That should keep the bureaucrats busy enough so they won't go around the countryside making bumpkins of themselves.

See a newspaper write up here
And the mill as it is now with a "scrapbook" history and photos and other news articles here.
Here is a place to by some of the mill's un-enriched products.

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