Are We Fracking Our Food Supply?
06 Dec, 2012
by Susan Enfield via, NewHope360
When I think about fracking, I think about water—the chemical-laced water that’s shot into wells to fracture shale and release fossil fuels, and which reappears both above and below ground, where it’s been linked to environmental contamination and health problems in humans and animals.
But increasingly, fracking activity is affecting neighboring farms and ranches and the foods they produce—foods we may be eating—reports a recent cover story in The Nation magazine. In the densely populated area around New York State, science writer Elizabeth Royte reports, the burgeoning local food movement is growing anxious about how fracking may affect their foodshed, which coincides with the natural gas–rich Marcellus Shale formation.
Food independence vs. energy independence?
In the Northeast, competition for “natural resources” is heating up, according to the article. “Only recently has the Northeast’s local-foods movement reached a critical mass, to the point where colleges and caterers trip over themselves in the quest for locally sourced and sustainably grown products. (New York has the fourth-highest number of organic farms in the nation.)
But the movement’s lofty ideals could turn out to be, in shale-gas areas, a double-edged sword. “People at the farmers’ market are starting to ask exactly where this food comes from,” says Stephen Cleghorn, a Pennsylvania goat farmer.