Reader: Elected officials need to pull their heads out of the sand and help Il Mondo Vecchio
Il Mondo Vecchio, a Denver salumeria and production plant, opened in 2009 in a bare-bones industrial building on South Cherokee Street. Mark DeNittis and his partner, Gennaro DeSantis, quickly earned acclaim for their fresh sausages and dry-cured artisan salumi products, many of which are sold at local markets and used at restaurants with big-name chefs. Earlier this year, Denittis was honored with a Signature Dish Exceptional Newcomer Award from the Colorado Restaurant Association.
After three years without a problem, in August, a regional USDA director stopped by the shop and told DeNittis that his entire inventory would be put on retention for further testing. "We had to make a choice to either do further testing, or add chemical nitrates or nitrites to the products," he told Lori Midson.
Neither option was acceptable to DeNittis. And so at the end of November, Il Mondo Vecchio will close its doors. The response to the news was immediate -- and outraged.
Governor Hickenlooper, Colorado Representatives, Colorado Senators: pull your heads out of the sand and HELP! We are all trying to create JOBS, COMMUNITY, and to keep more money LOCAL. HELP by creating a pathway for artisan producers to ply their trade unburdened by onerous and irrelevant laws rules and policies created BY and FOR mega-producers and giant processors. Let the people choose what the wish to eat.
FDA and USDA: you are a blunt instrument; institutionally inelegant and unintelligent. Our laws support your brutish intervention in our lives--arbitrarily dictating what we can and cannot eat.
This is such a shame on so many levels.
If you are not outraged, you're not paying attention.
Something must be done.
What should be done to support independent, artisanal ventures like Il Mondo Vecchio? Post your thoughts below, or join the conversation already under way here.
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