A Michigan farmer vented his frustrations over Facebook last week about a regulation that he believes is holding us back.
Marc Santucci posted a picture to the social platform showing 40,000 tart cherries —about 14 percent of his crop — that will be left to rot this season.
"So we can allow the import of 200 million pounds of cherries from overseas! It just doesn't seem right," Santucci wrote on Facebook.
As of Tuesday, his Facebook post received over 59,000 shares.
A marketing order from the U.S. Department of Agriculture forces cherry growers and processors to essentially withhold excess crops during years when there is a surplus — like this year.
"It was created at the industry's behest. It was voted in by growers and processors. It's not an imposition from outside," Perry Hedin, executive director of the DeWitt-based Cherry Industry Administrative Board, told USA Today. "The growers have been paid far better prices under the marketing order over the past 20 years than they were before the order was in place."
While Santucci opted to hold some of his excessive cherries in reserve for a future year, he said on Facebook that he was not allowed to donate the excess tart cherries, in part because of the product's short shelf life. He also told A Plus that he did not donate because he did not realize he could.
According to Feeding America, one in seven households in the U.S. are food insecure. A contributing factor behind this alarming statistic is our cultural tendency to waste food, and the fact that numerous healthy foods that look bad — so-called "ugly" produce — are disposed of.
Thankfully, numerous supermarkets like Whole Foods are now selling "ugly" produce to set a good example. Maybe one day the growers of excess fruits can have a piece of the pie.