What will Fracking do to our Food?

(updated 2019)

Here in Albert County, our Foods of the Fundy Valley group has been working hard over the past few years to expand the offering of locally grown food and produce. They have started a successful market, encouraged community share gardens and local meat producers, and taught programs in our schools. Their work has enhanced and built bridges between our communities and improved our lifestyle. They’re revitalizing our county and we have more market gardens showing up each year as people realize the importance of growing their own, and food security increasingly becomes a concern.

veggiebasket1On one hand, we have hardworking New Brunswickers putting their heart and soul into building our local economy through healthy, sustainable agriculture.

On the other hand, an oil and gas industry competes with the very resources we need to grow healthy food, and threatens the same resources of soil, air, water.

Read what the Food & Environmental Reporting Network has to say about Fracking and Food: First In-Depth Report on Potential Impact of Fracking on Food

In the midst of the domestic energy boom, livestock on farms near oil-and-gas drilling operations nationwide have been quietly falling sick and dying, according to the latest report by Food & Environment Reporting Network. Elizabeth Royte wrote the cover story, “What the Frack Is in our Food?” for the December 17, 2012, issue of The Nation magazine.

National Farmers’ Union

When farming families in Alberta began to come forward at public meetings with complaints about the destructive nature of fracking on water wells, the National Farmers’ Union in Rimbey Alberta, which represents Canadian family farms, took action. In 2012, the NFU called for a moratorium due to the danger to water, food and farmland. Union member Paul Slomp wrote this op-ed, referring to the diminished protections for farmers. In 2013, NFU’s submission to the ERCB asked for the precautionary principle to be utilized and for increased regulations:

“The adverse impacts of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, include increases in noise, dust, light pollution, air pollution, traffic on and damage to country roads, damage to fields, loss of productive acres, interference with wildlife habitat, social impacts due to influx of transitory workers, loss of recreation opportunities, potential water shortages, chemical spills on farmland and into surface waters, and reduction in property values. The danger of irreversible contamination of groundwater and resulting loss of wells used for watering livestock, irrigating crops and domestic consumption is our most serious concern. In many ways, fracking is not compatible with the safe, healthy production of wholesome food. “


More Links:

From Grain to Gasland – Fracking operations, which extract condensate for Alberta’s oilsands, are quietly encroaching on B.C. farmland, raising questions about the meaning of the Agricultural Land Reserve and pushing Peace Country farmers toward their ‘breaking point’.

Death by a Thousand Cuts – Blueberry River First Nation’s traditional territory is at the centre of one of the biggest deposits of natural gas on the planet, the Montney formation. In the space of just 50 years, their territory has been transformed, despite a 1900 treaty that guaranteed no such mass destruction would ever occur.

Fracking and the Food System – (May 2016) The oil and gas industry likes to promote fracking as a boon to farmers and rural communities, but the dream often turns into a nightmare. Fracking has polluted water wells, sickened people and livestock, and reduced available farmland — proving that fracking and a healthy food system are not compatible.
Download the brief here.

Dairy farms suffer in US shale gas fracking boom – In 2010, just as Ms. Russell was embarking on her new career in organic farming, Chesapeake Energy drilled two shale-gas wells across the road, less a thousand feet from the farm. Although not worried at first and even hopeful that future royalties from the gas may help her expand her business, Ms. Russell soon found herself in a nightmare, when she discovered that one of the wells on her property had been leaking methane gas into the ground, due to a faulty casing, for over a year.