Gmofreefood’s Weblog

Watch “Gasland” and never look at your faucet the same way ever again
June 29, 2010, 1:14 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I watched the movie Gasland last week on HBO.

This is yet another eye opening feature on the impact that man has on Nature and something as basic as having safe drinking water. Until now I was not really into buying drinking water when we have “decent” tap water to drink. I mean when you think of all the carbon footprint and the impact of purchasing something as basic as drinking water, it does not really make sense.Until now, we had been using a filter to drink our NYC tap water (until now…)

The movie explains the impact that the method used to extract natural gas (“Hydraulic Fracturing”) has on our drinking water supply:

Hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.

Horizontal hydrofracking is a means of tapping shale deposits containing natural gas that were previously inaccessible by conventional drilling. Vertical hydrofracking is used to extend the life of an existing well once its productivity starts to run out, sort of a last resort. Horizontal fracking differs in that it uses a mixture of 596 chemicals, many of them proprietary, and millions of gallons of water per frack. This water then becomes contaminated and must be cleaned and disposed of.

For more information on fracking, check out the Gasland FAQ web site here

After looking at this movie, you are really starting to question:

1) how safe is our drinking water (who has never had “funny” tasting tap water???)

2) what are some people thinking and how far would people go to make money?

I wish this types of movies would be shown on regular cable and not only on HBO. I think this is important information that should be shared and passed around. Once again, people: Education is key. Educate yourselves and educate the people around you. We can make a difference.

Check out Gasland’s web site and pass it around. They have some petitions on the site that can be sent to our local officials to try to prevent gas companies from starting to drill gas wells around the NYC reservoirs. It is not too late but everyone needs to make their voice heard. You can contact your local elected officials right here.


Watch Food Inc and pass it around
June 1, 2010, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I saw the movie “Food Inc” again recently on PBS and I can not recommend it enough. This movie should be on every gift list. While the movie is rather scary during the first 2/3, the overall message is one of Hope.

Most of the movie talks about the scary state of the food industry in the US, how “processed food” sold in US supermarkets seems more and more like “food to avoid” at all costs:

  • from burger meat washed in Ammonia to remove e-Coli germs (yes yes you read right),
  • to corn being produced so cheaply to force feed the cattle industry that it is now being used in virtually 90% of all processed food in the US,
  • not to forget Monsanto’s grip on the seed industry, the way they bully farmers into settling patent suits against them because they can not afford to pay legal fees and the way most of today’s top executives leading the FDA, USDA or EPA are former Monsanto employees (which seems surreal…)

This does not make for a very reassuring story.

However there are great messages of Hope:

from WallMart (yes WallMart) getting on the Organic Bandwagon by now selling Stoneyfield products in their stores to the increase demand for locally grown products, the clear message is that salvation will come in the form of the consumers (aka us !!!) voting with their wallets:

it has become clear that appealing to the large food companies to produce better quality food without Genetically modified ingredients for example will never lead to any results. The power of their lobbyists is so strong that consumers should not expect any miracles coming from their elected officials either (one example: Obama and his Organic garden naming Monsanto’s former VP of Public Policy as Senoir Advisor to the FDA….)

The only way consumers will make their voices heard will be by no longer buying their products. In the movie, a WallMart buyer says it clearly: “we made the decision to offer Stoneyfield’s products because consumers wanted it”. The overnight impact for organic milk producers was incredible!

There is a great analogy in the movie about how the food industry is like the tobacco industry 30 years ago: for the longest time the powerful tobacco lobby was able to sell its products without facing any consequences and by denying the health impact of their products. Eventually consumers got the politics to get their act together and change the laws to make them accountable. There is hope that we might be able to do the same with this oh-so essential food industry.

Watch the movie; buy it for a friend; pass it around. You can even watch the movie for free on PBS so not excuses!

Education is key ! Eat Organic (when or if you can) ! Buy locally grown (if and when you can) ! stop buying from the major food processing companies (if you leave in a large city, it is surprisingly easier than you think)