Traverse City Record-Eagle

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November 26, 2013

Letters to the Editor: 11/26/2013

Waiting for apology

President Obama, an honorable man in my eyes, has stood before the American public and admitted that he has made several serious mistakes with the Affordable Health Care Act.

I am now waiting for John Bohner, Eric Canter, Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnel to make an apology to the American public for shutting down the government, putting well over 800,000 Americans out of work and not paying death benefits to those American heroes that gave their lives for this great country.

Jerry Papazian

Lake Ann

Gleaning an alternative

Good news: 2013 was a great growing and harvest year for most crops in the Grand Traverse region. Some reports estimate that the 2013 yield was 10 times greater than the disappointing 2012 growing season.

Unfortunately it’s likely that not all of the crops grown were actually harvested from local fields and orchards. According to the Department of Agriculture, 25 to 33 percent of food grown on American farms is wasted. Some of the produce left behind is due to either mechanical harvesting or “cosmetic damage;” some perfectly good produce is simply not attractive enough for sale in markets.

Gleaning — scouring harvested fields for leftover crops — could be defined as the agricultural equivalent to urban food reclamation operations, such as Forgotten Harvest. This practice is experiencing a resurgence in popularity in agricultural communities in the U.S.

Martha’s Vineyard, for example (88 square land miles) has, to date in 2013, harvested 18,000 pounds of gleaned produce for distribution in food banks and pantries. (For comparison, farm-rich Leelanau County is 348 square land miles.)

There are no guarantees of end-of-season surplus. However, gleaning could generously augment food banks and pantries in the Grand Traverse region.

Marty Pavlock

Traverse City

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