Letters to the Editor
November 12, 2008
As a born-and-raised Vermonter, I find myself extremely displeased with your recent “Crumbs” article regarding Bove’s [“Side Dishes,” November 5].
My understanding was that Seven Days is an “independent” voice for our community. Clearly that is missing in your article. It seems to me that you are looking for a way to bash Gov. Douglas, and, in doing so, selected a local small business to throw under the bus.
First, let me express my disappointment with Mr. Sorrell for “calling out,” if you will, Bove’s labeling practices in the first place. There are many labeling regulations that food companies must be aware of, and they are changing all the time. I am sure a small, local company, such as Bove’s, does everything it can to keep current. And isn’t it true that once Mr. Sorrell approached Mr. Bove, the labels were changed? Can you explain to me why a company with a long, storied tradition in Burlington, Vermont, cannot be a “Vermont” company? If a heritage company such as Bove’s cannot be from Vermont, then no one can. I am not saying if the percentage of local product in the ingredients is not met per regulatory standards, Bove’s should be allowed to represent themselves as “Made in Vermont,” but there is a fine line here that I think Mr. Sorrell took advantage of.
Now back to you. You could have written this article and exposed your readers to a genuinely positive and happy tale. The Vermont Foodbank just received $100,000 in food donations! That is incredible! What other small, locally owned company has ever donated $100,000 worth of food to the Vermont Foodbank? It is inspiring to say the least, and I wish other local companies would follow Mr. Bove’s lead here. Can you just imagine the results? And, if I recall, the idea to donate was the Boves’ — not Mr. Sorrell’s.
You really missed the mark in this “Crumb,” and I am sure that the Vermont Foodbank would have been more than happy to grant you an interview so maybe you could have written a real story.
Normally, I look forward to Wednesdays, when I can go to City Market to pick up Seven Days and read all it has to offer for that week. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case with the November 5 paper. I expected the paper to include articles that shared in my joy or at least be a little less depressing.
On a day that most of Vermont was celebrating the win of President-elect Barack Obama, Seven Days published an article full of doom and gloom. While I find the article “Dead Serious” to be informative and interesting, I also find its timing to be very poorly calculated. My elation for the win of our new president was immediately turned to fear and anxiety about the likelihood of a pandemic flu.
I think that one of the things that Seven Days is good at is timing its articles so that it keeps up with current events and the current opinions of the people of Vermont. To post such a melancholy article that so quickly grabs the short-lived bliss right out of people’s hands, to me, is unlike Seven Days. I think even waiting until just next week would have been more acceptable. While I thank you for publishing this astonishing and scary article, I do wish that I didn’t have to read it on a day that I expecting to be full of hope for our future.