I’ve been off the radar for a little while – contemplating big questions about this Yogurt Pedaler and its goals and real feasibility. Frankly, it turns out my original goals for the project – giving yogurt away that I’d made from local milk turned into yogurt on my bike – is forbidden by a number of state and local laws and regulations regarding dairy processing, milk handling, street vending, and food preparation. I did plenty of research (thanks are due especially to Elise Becchetti, lawyer extraordinaire here in Chicago) and contemplated what risks I am willing to take.
I have also spent a lot of energy figuring out what the goals of the Yogurt Pedaler really are. Is it something I should do, whatever the costs, and just trust in the goodness of the people I meet along the way to get me from one place to the next? Is this the inkling of a business venture I should pursue realistically, taking my time and making all the effort necessary to get licensed and really ready? Or does the realization of this project lie somewhere in the middle?
I’ve settled on the latter. The goals of this project are about the yogurt and the bike, certainly, but above all they’re about inspiring people to make their own food and bringing life to public streets and spaces. And those goals don’t require illegally distributing handmade yogurt.
So, keeping my goals and foundations intact, I’m merely re-framing the Yogurt Pedaler, “marketing” it as an educational mission. I’ll be teaching people to make yogurt, distributing literature and giving as many demonstrations to as many people as possible. If it’s something I love and it turns into a larger business venture, the Yogurt Pedaler could evolve into a real, licensed food cart in the future. Or, perhaps this will lead to my discovery of a method of teaching that I truly love. I’m also open to the possibility that the Yogurt Pedaler is an ephemeral experience, and it may retire with the end of the summer.
With your help, dear followers and culture caravaners, I’ll find my way through the Midwest this summer, and the rest will follow when the time comes.