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Food in America

Food in America

I’m not a label reader when it comes to food. I’m one of those people who grew up on certain foods like meat and potatoes. I saw my relatives live into their 80s and figured, if it worked for them it should work for me too.

We do have an obesity epidemic in this country, true but I believe it has to do with how much people eat as much as what they eat. I also believe that a sedentary lifestyle contributes to this. So in my estimation if you eat sensible amounts and stay active you should be fine or as fine as your genetics will allow.

Note to restaurants: Serve sensible amounts and cut your prices a little – or pay your help better with the money you saved on food.

To some extent, some people’s obsession with eating healthy can border on paranoia. Yesterday a Twin Cities television station did a piece on food shelves and if the food they are passing out are really healthy choices. Over half the world goes to bed hungry and we got people worrying about calories and protein in the food we are handing out to people who have nothing else to eat.

A football stadium last week banned peanut sales at games because they are harmful to some. They can get seriously ill, I get that but do you deprive the vast majority of people who like peanuts? There are people who have allergies to most anything there is but doesn’t some personal responsibility come into the game here? (No pun intended.)

I think our country does a good job of labeling packages. Read before you eat or feed your kids.

Mike Holst


Hunt for Jesse

Saturday, Nov. 9 is the Minnesota deer hunting opener. It will mark 142 days since avid outdoorsman Jesse Larson was last seen or heard from. The 27-year-old Larson was last seen on his family’s ranch, 12 miles north of Crosby in Perry Lake Township, heading out back on the family property to swim.

Jesse’s truck was found stuck in the mud in a four-wheeler search of the family’s property the following day, near a water hole. Larson failed to return home, but the dogs returned home on days two and eight.

Many searches by air, foot, four-wheelers, horses, dogs and firemen have left family and authorities with no clues.

Our family remains hopeful that tips will be provided to the Crow Wing County Sherrif’s Department this deer season, as area woodlands soon will be filled with hunters walking, listening and watching.

Banners are strategically placed in outlying communities, billboards are hung to alert travelers and a Facebook page ( is continuously updated with ideas for those interested in supporting our search to bring Jesse home.

We remind people of the need to report tips – as soon as possible – in order for facts to remain clear and details to be more easily recalled.

The compassion Jesse’s hometown has shown him, by displaying his flier in their business windows, hosting his banner in the park and assuring our family feels his story is being and continues to be heard is sincerely appreciated.

Jesse James Larson’s family


Inefficient wind

In response to the recent letter touting wind energy, I note that Xcel Energy has a program called Windsource where you pay extra to support wind energy.

That’s because with a capacity factor of just 29 percent in the U.S., erratic wind is expensive.  

Nuclear’s capacity factor is 90 percent. We do have natural gas plants running in start/stop mode, wasting fuel, to back up the erratic wind supply.

I’m not sure what those 200,000 homes in the letter’s wind supply do when wind isn’t blowing and the power goes off. Then there is the factory with electric machines that need to keep run-

ning on a quiet night when there is no sun and no wind.

There is a place for wind and sun, but there are reasons that together they currently supply just a little over one quad of our annual 100 quadrillion BTUs of  total energy use in the U.S.

Rolf Westgard

St. Paul

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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