Why I support local farmers that I know. Our CSA is lucky to not be dependent on food grown in toxic soil.

Have you wondered why we’re still getting nice looking produce from California despite the drought and wildfires? How do farmers there manage to irrigate their fields and grow produce under such conditions?

Apparently, some are desperate enough to buy toxic wastewater from oil and gas companies and use it to irrigate their fields. For more on this, see links below.

Should we care about this? What does it have to do with supporting local farmers, especially those that we know?

I choose to support local farmers whom I know. I would like to know that the food I eat isn’t grown in fields that are irrigated with toxic waste water that was sold to farmers by oil and gas companies. I feel safer knowing that I can ask my local farmer whether the seeds they plant are free of GMOs and whether the water they use to irrigate their fields is clean.

I cannot imagine that irrigating farmland with toxic waste water is safe when the water content of fruits and vegetables are so high. I feel fortunate to not have to depend on this and feel terrible for farmers in California have such difficult choices to make.

But, when we buy produce that comes from far away places, we don’t know much about the farm practices. That’s why I’ve stopped buying perfect looking produce from Whole Foods. Just because it looks good doesn’t assure me that it is good for me. And I’ve been learning that the “organic” label doesn’t assure us that the water used to irrigate the farmland is necessary clean.

If you’d like to learn more, I’ve included some articles about how some of the farmers on the West Coast have managed to grow produce under these harsh conditions:

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/07/15/environmental-coalition-calls-for-ban-on-oilfield-wastewater-irrigation/

http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/08/organic-crops-can-be-irrigated-fracking-wastewater

Someone I know who works at Food and Water Watch told me that off the record that: “even some organic farms are using the fracking wastewater to irrigate crops”.

Here is FWW’s fact sheet on it: https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/sites/default/files/ib_1605_frackingandthefoodsystem-web.pdf

Susan Spieler, Coordinator