10

votes

Is Fracking affecting your "clean, organic" foods?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 02, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Are you aware of the process of removing natural gas from the Marcellus Shale and other shale beds here in the U.S. called Hydraulic Fracturing, or colloquially Fracking?

I'm going to try to stay as a-political as possible here. I don't want to get banned or deleted.

[3 politically-biased links removed by moderator. Readers can perform their own searches on the subject.]

The reason I think this is very important and topical is that the drilling is done very close to farmland, some of which is certified organic. The same produce that ends up on the shelves of your Whole Foods or my Commodities Natural Market, here in my neighborhood, could come from the same farms that have Frack wells on them. Judging by the first link, I don't think that is a good thing. I recently cooked a couple chicken thighs for me and my girlfriend, and they were from PA, where alot of fracking happens. It made me wonder about whether or not the food we all think is so safe and clean is actually so safe and clean.

So, are you aware of fracking? Do you think it's worrisome? Has fracking impacted your farm, or your neighbors' farms? Do you know someone that signed a gas well lease on their land? What happened? Do you think that it's safe to eat food that comes from farms where fracking has "impacted" the ground water?

EDIT: I'm sure most of you know that Josh Fox was arrested on Capitol Hill last week for trying to document a public hearing on the EPA findings that a link was found and confirmed to contaminated water due to fracking. Now there can be no argument that this process does indeed negatively impact the environment, thereby affecting water quality for any farmland nearby, and consequently tainting the food that comes from that land. Fracking is slated to begin, or is being considered in New York State, New Jersey, Ohio (where earthquakes occurred after the onset of the practice), in the Delaware Water Basin, and many other parts of the country crisscrossed by farmland. I urge you to investigate this subject further, as it will affect our food directly, and matter how "organic" a farm may be, it doesn't matter how it's labeled when the groundwater is laced with deadly carcinogens that kill the animals and are passed on to the consumer.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 14, 2011
at 09:35 PM

This says it all: “I think (local residents) are blowing it out of proportion,” Bradley (one of the company men) says. “There are plenty of silica mines sited close to communities. There have been no concerns exposed there.” Just deny deny deny and it will go away.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on August 04, 2011
at 01:03 AM

Both of you are wrong. I just didn't want an answer that became argumentative. I actively fix, or at least attempt to fix, a variety of problems and am in a position to influence a few decision makers about some issues; and I am a high achiever and have never settled for mediocrity.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:45 PM

The industry's response: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1W8MnveFq8

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Gasland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Nc-kxWfmc

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:44 PM

We have a surplus, and we don't know what to do with it. Sell it overseas at a profit! http://www.youtube.com/user/fisherinvestments?v=Bew1VtvItfA&feature=pyv&ad=12489428374&kw=fracking

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:37 PM

Watch these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEB_Wwe-uBM

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:04 PM

You might be right about not being able to change it. The powers that be seem bent on relying on fossil fuels well into our tenuous future, but we CAN change the WAY it's done, and the oversight that accompanies it by raising our voices, organizing or joining a movement.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:02 PM

GREAT link. I love this strategy: if you repeat something that just ins't true (i.e. “There have been over a million wells hydraulically fractured in the history of the industry, and there is not one, not one, reported case of a freshwater aquifer having ever been contaminated from hydraulic fracturing. Not one,”) long enough and loud enough, you can convince people, and then you have a constituency and a platform!

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on August 03, 2011
at 05:53 PM

I agree about nuclear power- the newer, smaller tech, preferably without the corporation-government 'cooperation' where they decide it is perfectly reasonable to leave spent nuclear fuel rods lying around...- but then the discussion turns really political. We don't find out what's truly sustainable until the artificial conditions are removed.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 03, 2011
at 05:46 PM

I knew a girl once who would frack bananas. True story.

Af9537cfa50562b67979624e9007e12a

(1334)

on August 03, 2011
at 03:44 PM

y'all misunderstand, of course you can change where you buy your food. Changing whether this stuff happens, probably not.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 03, 2011
at 03:20 PM

You can't change it? To hell you can't! Tartare - spot on. And Futureboy - THANK YOU for bringing this to our attention. Our ignorance is what will kill us - not cortisol :)

23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on August 03, 2011
at 01:49 PM

You can test your own soil for things like lead and beyond. Even then, there are ways to ammend your soil. I feel like you're getting at a 'we should be thankful we aren't starving' mentality, which saddens me. Keep thinking that it could be worse and you will always settle for mediocrity.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 05:09 AM

I totally agree Tartare. I think alot of people have been taught that "caring passively" is the ethical approach to life, rather than trying to change something that just doesn't seem right. You oughtta answer, I'd like to see what you have to say.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 05:08 AM

Great links BTW!

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:54 AM

The lit tap-water, in that one instance, was flammable pre-fracking. HOWEVER, the reason this was so, was that the watertable lay close to a shale formation, and because of seismic activity became contaminated. Fracking aims to do just that. Create "controlled" seismic events, and let the gas leak out in a "controlled" way. I don't see how that's fake...

Medium avatar

(5136)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:50 AM

things you cannot change? actually, we can choose where we buy our food from, and if we feel this is a threat to our well being, we can buy from an area where fracking isn't happening (notice i am avoiding politics). There are always choices to exercise. I feel like "don't worry - you can't do anything about it and you might get stressed out" is the shallow philosophy of an eventual victim.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:34 AM

Agreed Barb. It's disturbing, and it's happening VERY fast.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:33 AM

I agree, this is veering dangerously close to a political discussion on the merits or pitfalls of certain types of energy, and lord knows we can't have that here.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:32 AM

Worrying is not what I'm doing. I'm approaching an accepted paradigm skeptically. What if your clean, organic food wasn't so clean, or organic. What then?

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:30 AM

This sounds painfully like a "Why worry about it, let other people fix it..." kind of response. I agree that we have it pretty good here in the U.S., but it could be better, and alot of people in this country actually have a horrible quality of life, even though they think they're doing alright.

91fe5b7e10068df9f147ee84320e38f7

(614)

on August 03, 2011
at 12:13 AM

Agree with regards to the anti-stress, but why do you think this something that cannot be changed?

23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on August 02, 2011
at 10:50 PM

I don't understand what this has to do with the affect of fracking on our food supply. I mean, I guess I see what you're getting at but this is veering off topic. And I'm afraid very close to turning the discussion into a nuclear vs. alternative energy debate, which would very obviously be off topic.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1170)

on August 02, 2011
at 08:28 PM

Nuclear power is a pretty solid alternative, thorium in particular.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 02, 2011
at 06:57 PM

I mean, after all, that's political, too, isn't it?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 02, 2011
at 06:57 PM

I don't know enough about this subject to come down on one side or the other on the issue. It is political, and it is of direct concern to the Paleo/Healthy-lifestyle community in that it *MIGHT* affect the food supply, if the anti-fracking people are right. I can understand removing "flagrantly" political posts (such as the one that I was suspended for a week ago), however I don't understand the removal of links on this subject, even if they support one side of the issue. If I put up a link to a pro-organic website, do I have to also put up a link to an anti-organic website?

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 02, 2011
at 06:17 PM

Now...I would LOVE to hear from people who have witnessed/been affected by/have info on how it affects us!

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 02, 2011
at 06:16 PM

@CaveRat - I agree. No matter which side of the fence you sit on politically, which I'm not here to discuss or judge, you CANNOT deny that is impacting the land from which we derive the majority of our diet!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on August 02, 2011
at 06:04 PM

I think, if it were possible to completely, 100% remove politics from the issue, that it would still be relevant. i.e., it's relevant to 'Paleo' - to healthy food and shopping for food - in its own right. One can't really condemn ALL perspectives as equivalently "politically biased" - information is still information even if someone has an emotional response to it. Anyway, I appreciate the effort to present it as neutrally as possible.

23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on August 02, 2011
at 06:04 PM

Really, no matter which way you look at it, food is political. It would be difficult to say the least to cover controversial food topics (organics, alternative diets- PALEO+, biodynamics, dairy- raw, etc. etc. etc.) without it getting political. This question is pretty benign in my opinion. If members have to avoid asking a question or bringing up an important to all of us point due to concerns of reprimand, I say that's rediculous.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 02, 2011
at 05:43 PM

I'm fine with the links being deleted if it keeps the question open. As it stands above, I think the question avoids any political leanings and focuses purely on the safety of organic food that is supposed to be clean.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on August 02, 2011
at 05:33 PM

Note, my first comment was a reply to a comment by @Futureboy, which he has since deleted. Regarding links, you can link just about anywhere in the comments section. I'm mainly concerned about the body of the question.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on August 02, 2011
at 05:26 PM

Both sides are politically biased, and we're not here to have a political argument. I revised your question to attempt to meet your stated goal of writing an "a-political" fracking question. Actually, I don't know if it's possible to write an apolitical question about fracking. I'm leaving this one open because these fracking questions are like "whack-a-mole." If I close this one, another will pop up.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 02, 2011
at 05:20 PM

from MSNBC, should be un-biased since it's on the news, and it looks at both sides of the issue.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 02, 2011
at 05:19 PM

Ok how about this then: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq6VyEj5RMw

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 02, 2011
at 05:17 PM

How were those links politically biased?? They were from both sides of the argument. This is getting ridiculous.

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9 Answers

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 05:08 AM

Great links BTW!

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:34 AM

Agreed Barb. It's disturbing, and it's happening VERY fast.

4
Medium avatar

on August 03, 2011
at 06:24 PM

I'm gonna take a minute to answer my own question.

The predicament, as I see it, boils down to the disrespect and economic plight of the American Farmer. If our farmers were in an economic state where they could resist the temptation to accept "easy money" from these companies, in exchange for maybe, some slight consequences outlined by the very same self-serving, lying corporations in hazy, scientific terms, unapproachable by the laymen, then we might not be having this problem in such an unmanageable way.

I think the main takeaway here is that these companies want to remain as anonymous as they can, and keep as much of their practices quiet as possible. Think about this, the EPA cannot adequately study the effects of fracking and aquifer damage, simply because in most cases, when a well has been contaminated, the company in question settles with the victim and has the records sealed and a gag order issued.

I think this issue is such a huge red flag, and really a signifier for a larger problem. We as a nation are still reliant on fossil fuels. Seemingly, we want to remain reliant on fossil fuels, if the fracking push is any indication, at the cost of our land, our water and our food safety.

My aim as a person, is to integrate more fully into the local food-system in a sustainable way. I would consider myself an advocate of the Paleo way of eating, with some dairy and alcohol modifications, etc. The attitude of "we shouldn't preach what we practice, only demonstrate," doesn't make any sense to me. If we want to make a positive impact (I think it's impossible to argue that being at a healthy weight, and in the best shape internally, mentally and externally in your life is not positive!) on ourselves, then it goes without saying (to me at least!) that we would want to affect the world/people around us in that very same way!

If this way of eating was spread, and people really took notice of the way their food-delivery system affects/is affected by the politics/society/money spent/the world around them, I think a positive change could be effected. WE can re-empower the American Farmer by supporting his livelihood. I'm all for that.

Maybe this is just too big. Maybe I've had too much caffeine (tea with pastured heavy cream!) and this is just a crazy rant. Hopefully I've avoided being too political. In any case, that's what I think.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:37 PM

Watch these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEB_Wwe-uBM

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:44 PM

We have a surplus, and we don't know what to do with it. Sell it overseas at a profit! http://www.youtube.com/user/fisherinvestments?v=Bew1VtvItfA&feature=pyv&ad=12489428374&kw=fracking

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:45 PM

The industry's response: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1W8MnveFq8

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Gasland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Nc-kxWfmc

3
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on August 03, 2011
at 01:37 AM

Unless you grow and raise all your food and all the food for you livestock, you have no idea if it is "clean." Even then, your soil may have naturally high levels of lead or some other poison and you don't know it.

There's always something to worry about. Luckily our lives are good enough that we can get on the internet and worry about something that may or may not affect us; it beats not having food while living in some third world country, like Somalia, where there is literally no hope for improvement.

That's the best I can do for you without getting too much into politics.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:30 AM

This sounds painfully like a "Why worry about it, let other people fix it..." kind of response. I agree that we have it pretty good here in the U.S., but it could be better, and alot of people in this country actually have a horrible quality of life, even though they think they're doing alright.

23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on August 03, 2011
at 01:49 PM

You can test your own soil for things like lead and beyond. Even then, there are ways to ammend your soil. I feel like you're getting at a 'we should be thankful we aren't starving' mentality, which saddens me. Keep thinking that it could be worse and you will always settle for mediocrity.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on August 04, 2011
at 01:03 AM

Both of you are wrong. I just didn't want an answer that became argumentative. I actively fix, or at least attempt to fix, a variety of problems and am in a position to influence a few decision makers about some issues; and I am a high achiever and have never settled for mediocrity.

2
23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on August 14, 2011
at 09:24 PM

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 14, 2011
at 09:35 PM

This says it all: “I think (local residents) are blowing it out of proportion,” Bradley (one of the company men) says. “There are plenty of silica mines sited close to communities. There have been no concerns exposed there.” Just deny deny deny and it will go away.

2
23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on August 03, 2011
at 05:43 PM

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:02 PM

GREAT link. I love this strategy: if you repeat something that just ins't true (i.e. “There have been over a million wells hydraulically fractured in the history of the industry, and there is not one, not one, reported case of a freshwater aquifer having ever been contaminated from hydraulic fracturing. Not one,”) long enough and loud enough, you can convince people, and then you have a constituency and a platform!

1
7b11ed525ffa23bc7257684e27488a6a

(366)

on September 29, 2011
at 11:28 PM

Yes, fracking can contaminate well water and then also food. Fortunately my well has not yet been affected, although drilling has been happening for years in my neighborhood. Many farms and ranches in North Texas are impacted by this kind of natural gas drilling in many ways. I have seen pipelines through pasture land and also a huge gas fire in my area a couple years ago. Radioactive particles get stirred up during fracking operations and have contaminated large wells in N Texas (1). Also, once the gas is pumped out, sludge water filled with who knows what gets pumped into the ground. Last I read, the mixture pumped in is not subject to public record.

  1. http://www.hudsonoaks.com/files/Water%20Public%20Notice.pdf

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on August 02, 2011
at 08:09 PM

From what I understand, some of the anti-fracking stuff, like the guy lighting his tap water on fire, was fake- in the sense that he could do that before fracking ever came to his area. Naturally occuring methane in his well.

Fracking doesn't sound pleasant, but alternative energy systems have a lot of downsides no one is talking about either. Windfarms and solar arrays take up a lot of land, disturb the local-climate (or whatever you'd call it- similarly a parking lot is a heatsink and tends to change the local environment ). Windmills have been known to kill birds too. Nor do we get very much electricity for the inputs involved. Windmills are a very old technology and folks very happily ditched for more modern means. Solar arrays have a simple problem- there are only a certain amount of photons hitting any square foot of space. No matter how awesome the solar cells get the power produced will top out at something far below what most folks imagine.

So, beyond highly subsidized green tech, what are the alternatives? Well, cooking fires! People all over Africa can give you a lovely understanding of what happens with a lack of modern energy production- smoke inhalation. Pollution wafting through your lovely home rather than being confined to the electricity plant miles down the road.

I suppose smoke inhalation from cooking fires is paleo, though. But I seriously doubt it is contributing to the health and well-being of the women and children who have to do it now, because silly westerners rather go there and set up a few solar panels rather than build an electricity plant.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1170)

on August 02, 2011
at 08:28 PM

Nuclear power is a pretty solid alternative, thorium in particular.

23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on August 02, 2011
at 10:50 PM

I don't understand what this has to do with the affect of fracking on our food supply. I mean, I guess I see what you're getting at but this is veering off topic. And I'm afraid very close to turning the discussion into a nuclear vs. alternative energy debate, which would very obviously be off topic.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:33 AM

I agree, this is veering dangerously close to a political discussion on the merits or pitfalls of certain types of energy, and lord knows we can't have that here.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:54 AM

The lit tap-water, in that one instance, was flammable pre-fracking. HOWEVER, the reason this was so, was that the watertable lay close to a shale formation, and because of seismic activity became contaminated. Fracking aims to do just that. Create "controlled" seismic events, and let the gas leak out in a "controlled" way. I don't see how that's fake...

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on August 03, 2011
at 05:53 PM

I agree about nuclear power- the newer, smaller tech, preferably without the corporation-government 'cooperation' where they decide it is perfectly reasonable to leave spent nuclear fuel rods lying around...- but then the discussion turns really political. We don't find out what's truly sustainable until the artificial conditions are removed.

0
Af9537cfa50562b67979624e9007e12a

(1334)

on August 02, 2011
at 11:09 PM

worrying too much about things you can not change causes stress. Stress is anti-paleo by nature.

91fe5b7e10068df9f147ee84320e38f7

(614)

on August 03, 2011
at 12:13 AM

Agree with regards to the anti-stress, but why do you think this something that cannot be changed?

Medium avatar

(5136)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:50 AM

things you cannot change? actually, we can choose where we buy our food from, and if we feel this is a threat to our well being, we can buy from an area where fracking isn't happening (notice i am avoiding politics). There are always choices to exercise. I feel like "don't worry - you can't do anything about it and you might get stressed out" is the shallow philosophy of an eventual victim.

Af9537cfa50562b67979624e9007e12a

(1334)

on August 03, 2011
at 03:44 PM

y'all misunderstand, of course you can change where you buy your food. Changing whether this stuff happens, probably not.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 03, 2011
at 03:20 PM

You can't change it? To hell you can't! Tartare - spot on. And Futureboy - THANK YOU for bringing this to our attention. Our ignorance is what will kill us - not cortisol :)

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 05:09 AM

I totally agree Tartare. I think alot of people have been taught that "caring passively" is the ethical approach to life, rather than trying to change something that just doesn't seem right. You oughtta answer, I'd like to see what you have to say.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:04 PM

You might be right about not being able to change it. The powers that be seem bent on relying on fossil fuels well into our tenuous future, but we CAN change the WAY it's done, and the oversight that accompanies it by raising our voices, organizing or joining a movement.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 03, 2011
at 04:32 AM

Worrying is not what I'm doing. I'm approaching an accepted paradigm skeptically. What if your clean, organic food wasn't so clean, or organic. What then?

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