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Food, Farming, Fracking: "It's Time to Ask for What We Really Want"

  For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Organic Transitions page.

As participants gathered to Stop the Frack Attack in Washington, I met with Ecocentric Hero Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, to get her take on fracking and farming, whether natural gas is actually a bridge fuel and why it's a big deal if Governor Andrew Cuomo approves hydraulic fracturing in New York State.

During our brief but wide-ranging conversation, it was clear that (in her words)"it is time to ask for what we want, not the best we can get" best represents Hauter's underlying organizing philosophy. The recent endorsement of "safe" fracking by Mayor Michael Bloomberg aside, there aren't likely to be many surprises coming soon (we expect Cuomo to lift the moratorium).  Hauter and I also discussed what comes after that decision, as well as what advice she'd give to people anywhere who wake up to find they're living next to a frack site.

Below you can read an excerpt of our conversation (click here for a transcript of the entire conversation). You can listen to the whole 14-minute interview by clicking on the audio player (above left) or by downloading the podcast file. Well the first thing I wanted to ask you about, what do you see as the connection between farming and fracking and why this is an issue that's of interest to farmers and food folks?

Well, you know, we have had forty years of increasingly bad farm policy, and we're now at a place where farmers can't make a living. And so to maintain the family farm, to keep their land, in many rural areas of the country they are selling their mineral rights for energy projects. So we're basically turning our farms into industrial sites because of bad food policy.

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