Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chefs for The Marcellus: Help Protect New York's Food Shed From the Dangers of Shale Fracking

My life has been so hectic lately keeping the family unit going and downsizing our apartment, that it feels like I'm the last locavore in New York to focus on one of the most critical food issues in our region today: hydraulic fracturing and shale fracking, two highly controversial and chemically intensive techniques that blast open rock shale to access natural gas.

The problem, for New Yorkers in particular, is the Marcellus Shale Formation, which covers a vast area from Southern New York to Ohio and West Virginia, is in the same area as the Catskill Watershed, which keeps our city's taps flowing with delicious and pristine water, and dozens of dairy, produce and livestock farms, and wineries and breweries in Southern New York.

Several of my food advocate colleagues have joined together and formed a non-profit, Chefs for the Marcellus, to raise awareness (and funds) to protect the region from fracking.  The organization has two events this month:

Thursday, April 19, at 1:00 p.m. Heritage Radio Network, The Farm Report
Log on live or download the podcast to hear Chefs for the Marcellus founders Hilary Baum and Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez discuss fracking and its impact on local agriculture. Joining them  on  The Farm Report —  a show  devoted to farming issues on internet-based Heritage  Radio — will be Luce Guanzini, a goat farmer from Tioga County (PA).

Sunday, April 29, at noon to 4:00 p.m. Pesto Fest to Benefit Chefs for the Marcellus
Guests at this event will be treated to pesto dishes prepared by professional chefs from Manhattan and Brooklyn as well as members of the community; herbal nibbles prepared by Ger-Nis instructors, host of the event, and Chefs Carl Raymond and Melissa Rickets; live jazz, compliments of The Evan Schwam Trio; and an herbal libations bar featuring fresh seasonal herbal drinks brought to you by Brooklyn’s Wolf & Deer & Ger-Nis. Event info and to buy tickets ($25) 

Special thanks from Lighthearted Locavore to Hilary Baum of Baum Forum, Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy's No. 43, Eric Weltman of Food and Water Watch, and Holley Atkinson for being on the cutting edge of food issues in New York.
I'll be in New Orleans for Jazzfest and unfortunately will miss Pesto Fest -- it should be a great event, The moving vans come on April 30th -- I can't wait to get my life back, and write more about fracking and other critical food issues -- it's been a while! Oh, and don't worry I'm staying on the upper west side; we're just moving across the courtyard!

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