The corn that goes into the Ethanol process produces a by product called distillers grains. These grains are used in commercial feeds for Chickens, Cows, Pigs, etc. These grains are a concentration of the protein, fiber, minerals and nutrients from the corn seed as only the starch is used for ethanol production.
Less than 20% of the corn grown in the United States is used for human consumption, this includes the corn used for cooking oil, high fructose syrup, and actual corn used in things such as tortilla shells and cereals such as corn flakes. Ethanol is and has never been meant to replace gasoline.
Ethanol is meant to enhance our fuel supply; create local jobs within the United States; replace MTBE which is a nasty carcinogen, as an Oxygenate in gasoline; and to provide an outlet for all of the unused corn supply in this country.
No one is saying we should divert 100% of the corn supply to the Ethanol process, however even if we did food prices would not go up 1000%, as again the supply of distillers grains would increase just as much leaving plenty of feed for our livestock which people like to eat so very much. 99% of the farmland used to grow corn never sees produce items which we buy in a store. It gets rotated between big ticket crops such as soy beans, alfalfa, wheat, and oats. And all of these crops have to be rotated otherwise yields go down as nutrient and pest pest problems develop. Farmers know this and as a result rotate the crops they grow from year to year even though they may not make as much growing them.
Maybe food prices should go up 1000%, then maybe we won't have 50% of the American population over weight or obese!
Facts on recent increases in fuel and food
Over the past year, oil prices have jumped by nearly 100%
In 2007, food prices increased by about 4% overall.
In 2007, the same year the U.S. produced a record amount of ethanol from corn, the U.S. increased it surplus of corn to more than 1.4 billion bushels. In a record ethanol year, the U.S. actually fed more of the world by increasing its exports of corn by 6%.
Food marketing costs now account for 80% of the cost of food. Marketing costs are the difference between the farm value and consumer spending for food at grocery stores and restaurants.
Corn accounts for less than 5% of the price a box of corn flakes.
The price of rice is now up 77% since October. Rice is not used is the production of biofuels. Corn for ethanol cannot be grown in rice paddies.
As a whole, fish prices are up. Fuel prices account for approximately 60%-70% of operating costs of fishermen. Fish are not used in the production of biofuels.
An increasing amount of biofuels are produced from nontraditional feedstocks such as waste products from the beverage, food, and forestry industries. In the very near future, biofuels will be produced from agricultural residues such as grain straw, sugarcane bagasse, corn stover, municipal solid waste, and energy crops such as switchgrass and algae.
[This post was last edited on 8/15/08 at 11:48 PM]