I’m shocked that anyone who grew up drinking raw milk, produced on a farm where the farmer knew every cow and whose livelihood relied on word of mouth, would vote against local food. But this seems to be the exact sentiment of Sen. Peter Edgecomb, R-Caribou, in the April 24 article “Legal defeat only emboldens ‘food sovereignty’ movement in Maine.”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say those voting against the local food movement haven’t investigated the impact that increased local food resources could have on Maine.

For example, if there were a natural or man-made disaster today, many would find themselves without food because of the food deserts existing in Maine.

A food desert is an area where 500 people or 33 percent of the population, whichever is greater, are far enough from the grocery store and food centers that they can’t get enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle without substantial travel.

Over 75,000 Mainers are living in a food desert, and just as many live in communities on the verge of being food deserts. These people have next to nothing for food security. One disaster will leave many Mainers hungry. Anyone recall the winter of 2014-2015, when the Eastern Seaboard shut down and the store shelves were emptying at an alarming rate? Imagine that on a larger scale.

By allowing more homesteads and small farms the chance to sell locally, we limit and dissolve the food deserts, securing food for Maine. Addressing the “safety” issue: If Dairyman Dan gets a bad reputation because people are getting sick from his milk, he abuses his animals or has shoddy practices, he’ll go out of business more quickly than the conglomerate dairy farms doing the same. I’d trust Dairyman Dan over the conglomerate farms any day, as the locals can force him to be honest.