Day 13 – Why are Americans burning food?

Corn ethanol is a bad idea! There isn’t one single benefit to growing corn then burning it in a car. Our country has really lost touch with what is important. Washington has chosen to support corn ethanol over food security. We thought we were going to get a little relief from the ethanol insanity late last year but then the EPA went and increased the ethanol blend from 10% to 15%.

I have been planning on writing an essay on the problem with corn ethanol, but then I came across this comment from a guy named Jake from Ohio. He wrote this in response to an AP article on Yahoo! finance titled Higher food prices ahead after corn reserves sink. Jake’s comments sum this issue up really well and so I am going to post it here for you.

Jake, if you are reading this, way to go buddy.

Jake from Ohio writes:
Want to understand why ETHANOL if the largest contributor to run away food prices?

35 BILLION dollars PER YEAR. 1/30th of a TRILLION dollars PER YEAR…..

That’s HOW MUCH the American taxpayer is SUBSIDIZING the CORN-BASED ethanol industry just so we can be rewarded with skyrocketing food prices with no end in sight. Actually, food inflation is only just beginning. (Read that twice and you’ll see we are being ripped off TWO ways…… first through the ethanol subsidy and second, through food inflation).

During the fermentation process, two primary products are produced. The HIGH CALORIE carbohydrates are “cooked” out of the corn to produce Ethanol for internal combustion engines. The left overs from this process, the LOW CALORIE proteins, known as corn meal, is fed to livestock.

Before Ethanol, 100% of an acre of corn production went into the human food chain.

With Ethanol, an acre of corn now yields the rough equivalent of ONE-HALF acre of human food with the OTHER half acre being made into ethanol.

Corn is found in more than 50% of all grocery items. Corn has nearly doubled in price in the past six months – and this is only the beginning until something is done about Ethanol. Why? Because approximately HALF of the CALORIC VALUE of corn is going into Ethanol production – and no longer reaching the human food chain.

Additionally, the contracting of corn for corn-based ethanol production is displacing millions and millions of acres of other grain crops (wheat, oats, barley, beans, – you name it) and causing scarcer supplies of these farm products as well. Scarcer grain supplies of all kinds means higher prices for ALL food items – milk, eggs, cheese, breads, cereals, meats and the list goes on and on.

It should be a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY to burn the world’s food supply in internal combustion engines!!!! Here in the U.S. we will suffer more and more from higher prices to feed our families. In other parts of the world, higher prices due to corn-based ethanol production is literally causing starvation and death.

But the rising price of oil necessitates ethanol production, right? WRONG!

Here in U.S. even with a rising demand curve, we sit on a proven 82 year supply of American Natural Gas right under our feet, and more is being discovered every day. One estimate places a 9,000 year supply of natural gas crystal hydrates are locked up on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and recoverable with advancing technology. Forget that for now – we have 8 decades of proven natural gas reserves. It’s abundant, useable, cheaper – and IT IS OURS!

The point? Convert transportation and farming to American Natural Gas, do away with imported oil – and END corn-based ethanol production. Until this happens, spiraling out of control food cost will continue…. and continue.

A side benefit? Ending dependence on foreign oil and using our own natural gas could pay off HALF the national debt in 12 years.

By using our own natural gas for transportation and farming, WE DON’T NEED ethanol from corn OR sugar cane OR sugar beets OR the always evading cellulosic ethanol technology.

Please understand I am not against all ethanol production, but CORN-BASED ethanol production is unwise at best – and INSANE at worst!

We’re running out of time, folks…………..

Contact your congressman and senators to pass legislation to ABOLISH CORN-BASED ETHANOL – and to ramp up American Natural Gas production, distribution and compressed natural gas vehicles. Battery power isn’t going to carry us into the future anytime soon. The technology most of us need for long distance travel in battery power just isn’t there right now.

“Waste not, want not.”

By the way, I am retired from the agricultural seed business.

Thank you for taking the time to read and understand this.

Only those involved in the SUBSIDIZED ETHANOL RACKET will give a thumbs down to this.

5 thoughts on “Day 13 – Why are Americans burning food?

  1. It’s amazing how a single crop (Corn) can be THE cause for ALL the starvation in the world. Corn is not the only grain crop or even the primary one that people around the world eat. To say we’re starving people by making Biofuels from Corn is to blissfully ignore all other grains grown: Oats, Rice, Soy, Wheat, etc.

  2. Sean,

    Corn just happens to be the primary grain for ethanol. As I’m sure you know, other grains are used for ethanol as well like wheat and triticale. Also soybeans and canola are being used to produce bio-diesel. What is important is not the corn but the acres. If it weren’t corn it would be sugar cane in Brazil where they are slashing rain forest or it would be sugar beets. The real problem is the competition for acres. The world only has so many acres with which to grow food, using any of those acres for energy dramatically reduces the carrying capacity of the earth and thus our ability to feed the global population. And after all, that’s why farmers do what they do. Feed people. Ask any farmer you know if they would rather grow food or gasoline and see what they say.

    Blissful ignorance is not understanding the commodity markets and how “corn is king” really does mean something. Everything follows corn. Have you noticed the price for oats, rice, wheat, cotton, coffee, sugar, lately?

  3. Dino,

    Have you been to Brazil? The sugar cane growing region is over 2,500 miles south of the Amazon Rain Forest. That’s a distance greater than from Miami to Los Angeles.

    Furthermore, 2/3rds of all the soy grown in Brazil goes straight to China. With a world population approaching 7 Billion on its way to 9 Billion it isn’t a matter of Food vs Fuel but rather producing feed/food, fibers, AND biofuels all from the same crops/land.

    As for Natural Gas replacing our transportation fueling needs: You mean the single greatest threat to drinking water sources than almost anything else due to all the chemicals used in fracking? Thank you T. Boone Pickens but no thanks.

    For the record: I know exactly how the Commodities Markets work. Everything follows the price of Oil; not Corn. That was proven 2 years ago and it’s still true. When the price of Oil goes up everything gets more expensive.

    http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/seanohanlon

  4. Sean, you are correct that corn follows oil. And you are also correct that two years ago the market proved that concept. Thank you for supporting my argument against corn ethanol. This trend was established once the government began mandating and subsidizing ethanol. Food prices should not be tied to oil. We keep talking about dependency on foreign oil, but how does it make sense for us to put our food security at the mercy of the oil producing nations? Maybe natural gas isn’t the only answer, but it is part of a solution. Either way Ethanol = no good for people. Thanks for the lively debate.

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