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Feature Documentary Home Restaurant amplifies home cooking movement
MEHKO: Home Restaurant chronicles California's food revolution as chefs in Los Angeles and the Bay area, immigrant women of color living in food deserts, tech entrepreneurs, lawmakers, and activists unite to transform home-cooked meals into a force for change. Despite the 2019 legalization of home food operations under the MEHKO (micro-enterprise home kitchen operations) law, obstacles hinder widespread adoption. Can this movement for food equity regain momentum, empowering marginalized communities, and revolutionize the food economy?
The documentary focuses on AB626, the groundbreaking 2019 bill legalizing home-based food businesses in California. It examines the challenges of county-by-county adoption, with only a fraction of home kitchens currently operating legally. The film showcases citizen involvement in promoting the bill and emphasizes the power of local government decisions.
Themes of food justice, equity, and representation are explored, showing how MEHKOs can uplift diverse food entrepreneurs and address food deserts. MEHKOs provide a cost-effective path to entrepreneurship, redirecting corporate dollars back into local economies. The film also confronts challenges like resistance from lawmakers, cultural appropriation, and predatory practices.
"MEHKO: Home Restaurant" portrays MEHKOs' potential for positive change, aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goals by promoting equality, reducing poverty, hunger, and inequalities while fostering economic growth and partnerships.