Some of California’s best-known chefs and restaurateurs are whipping up a fight against fracking in the Golden State.
High hopes that California would impose a moratorium on fracking, a process in which chemicals are injected into the ground to extract oil and gas, were dashed on Friday when Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that regulates the process but does not stop it. Opponents say fracking pollutes water and threatens farms. California is the source of 15 percent of the nation’s crops.
On Wednesday, foodies led by slow-food movement champion Alice Waters launched an anti-fracking “cook’s petition” to pressure the governor and legislature on the issue. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Chez Panisse chefs Alice Waters and Jerome Waag today launched a chefs’ petition urging their colleagues to take a stand against fracking in California. Working in collaboration with Food & Water Watch, founding member of Californians Against Fracking, the chefs are concerned about the threat fracking poses to the world-renowned food and wine that is grown, served and sold in California. The petition includes a letter calling on Governor Brown to place a moratorium on fracking.
In New York, the highly successful Chefs for the Marcellus has been instrumental in keeping fracking from putting that state’s agricultural bounty in jeopardy. Top chefs there, including Mario Batali and Bill Telepan, have been active and vocal on the matter.
Here’s more on the petition from KTVU:
The petition contends the practice hurts farmers and agriculture by depleting water supplies, increasing water costs and polluting groundwater.”
We … are concerned about the potential impacts of fracking on our livelihoods and those who grow and produce the food we offer our customers, guests and families,” the petition says.
Food & Water Watch spokesperson Anna Ghosh told KTVU that by the end of the day, 92 chefs, restaurant owners, winemakers, and authors had signed the petition. Perhaps Californians will think twice about giving frackers free rein when they realize it’s not just their water that’s at stake, but their prized local food as well.