Burning up food prices: More corn going to ethanol production now than food production

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J. D. Heyes
Natural News

Aug 19, 2011

The world has a food shortage. This isn’t speculative or subjective, and it’s not fear-mongering or alarmist. It’s a well-documented fact and, what’s more, the real experts – those who aren’t influenced by government or corporate interests – have been trying to make that case for months.

Moreover, these same experts say, the shortages are causing global food prices to rise – dramatically in some cases – which is only leading to more hunger, more pain and more hardship.

So, what is the United States doing to blunt the effects of this food shortage? What is official U.S. policy regarding, say, the production of corn – the primary ingredient in scores of food products and livestock feed? Well, officially, our policy is to burn up a substantial amount of corn every year in our automobiles – food that could be used to feed Americans and the world.

“In the United States, which harvested 416 million tons of grain in 2009, 119 million tons went to ethanol distilleries to produce fuel for cars,” says Lester Brown, writing in Foreign Policy magazine in January. “That’s enough to feed 350 million people for a year. The massive U.S. investment in ethanol distilleries sets the stage for direct competition between cars and people for the world grain harvest.”

It must be a “West” thing because the Europeans are following a similar policy. Though most cars in Europe run on diesel fuel, “there is growing demand for plant-based diesel oil, principally from rapeseed and palm oil,” writes Brown. That has led to less land being utilized to grow food and the cutting and clearing of rainforest in Indonesia and Malaysia, to harvest “fuel” for palm oil plantations.

Some experts say that using more corn in the U.S. isn’t driving up food costs, and it’s not a problem for the global food supply, they insist.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its most recent Crop Production and Supply/Demand report for this year, said for the first time ever more of the American corn crop will likely wind up in our gas tanks rather than in the bellies of our livestock.

No big deal, says an industry insider.

“Every credible study has clearly found the effect of ethanol policies is negligible on the price of corn,” says Monte Shaw, president of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

Not so fast, say researchers and economists from Purdue University. According to a report released in July, demand for biofuels (corn=ethanol) in the U.S. is driving up food prices, and that phenomenon isn’t likely to change for at least the next two years.

The study’s authors said that in 2005, about 10 percent of the U.S. corn crop went to ethanol production; by 2010, that climbed to 27 percent. And, since the Obama administration’s official policy is “no new drilling” and alternative energy automobiles are still years away at best, the official policy of burning our food supply will remain for the foreseeable future .

As the world goes hungry and food prices climb, the world’s breadbasket has chosen to burn up enough of a single commodity to feed hundreds of millions of people. That’s a pretty big deal.





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14 Responses to “Burning up food prices: More corn going to ethanol production now than food production”

  1. Food shortage is just the beginning of this Economic Collapse – Imminent Global Financial Crisis and U.S. Dollar Collapse!

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  2. Yeah, I guess I’m going to have to fire up my old still again since Moonshine is legal now.

  3. Get a horse!!!

  4. The world DOES NOT have a food shortage. It might have food selection and distribution problems but there is no shortage. If there was a shortage our population would be naturally decreasing. Our population is increasing as a direct result of the fact that we have enough food. This is simple observable biological science here. The same happens in a smaller controlled environment (size is relative remember so the earth is no different). Give the mice more food than they need and their population increases. Decrease the food and so does the population.

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    Glen Reply:
    August 19th, 2011 at 6:43 am


  6. Like Ol’ Popcorn Sutton” this will be the last damn likker I’ll ever make……..why don’t you believe me? RIP, Popcorn.

  7. I would also imagine that farmers signed onto the ethanol porgram are required to grow GM corn.

  8. and
    you get less MPGs from ethanol than 100% gasoline

  9. it was one thing when the scumfucks made counterfeit monopoly money as real ….but its entirely stupid to fuck with the food ….shows you what kind of idiots these moneychanger fools are ……


  11. “Growing” fuel was an absurd premise from the beginning.

    frontline Reply:
    August 19th, 2011 at 9:05 am

    no kidding …take food out of tour mouth and put it in the car …..how stupid …that dosnt even pass the romper room test

  12. Obama talks the talk about alternative fuel sources, but in reality, he DOES NOTHING to change our dependence upon oil. He is in the pockets of the oil executives.

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