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.
asked byFutureboy (5639)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on August 02, 2011
at 06:52 PM
I have no personal experience with this, and haven't looked much into it but it's clear that this is a real issue we should certainly concern ourselves with.
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.
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.
on August 14, 2011
at 09:24 PM
Closer and closer to home- right in my backyard..... http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/article_bec044a8-c62c-11e0-b32e-001cc4c002e0.html
on August 03, 2011
at 05:43 PM
Came across this just today- http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/us/04natgas.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
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.
on September 29, 2011
at 07:16 PM
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.