Corn Food Fuel Counterpoint


After considerable investigation and searching of facts, it has become evident that the laws of physics and supply & demand are starting to show the result of cause and effect. Corn a main source of global food now competes as a source for fuel. The concern is to produce both efficiently without upsetting economies, interest groups, and provide needed food.


As energy demands devour crops once meant for sustenance, the economics of agriculture are being rewritten. The cost of $2 corn feed has swelled in a short span to $4 to $5. Corn is caught in a tug-of-war between ethanol plants and food, one of the first signs of a coming agricultural transformation and a global economic shift.


Corn used for food or fuel is a complex issue. Adoption of agricultural practices should take into account and evolve efficient methods of utilizing available land and other resources to meet both food and fuel needs. Will the food produced make it to those with the greatest need and cost?


Farmers can see good news in farm crops, but others can see problems with food supplies. Food and fuel markets are linked. What will cause efficient and stabilized market?


Can the UN or World Heath Organization be of any help as food is rationed? Are they a stabilizing influence?


Across the country, ethanol plants are swallowing up more and more of the nation’s corn crop, linking food and fuel prices just as oil is rising to new records.


The National Corn Growers Association “NCGA” represents the interests of approximately 33,000 dues-paying corn growers and of more than 300,000 farmers. The “NCGA” gives a convincing case of facts for corn as food and fuel in conjunction with the environment-Killing Myths on Ethanol. However, are all the facts presented?


Is corn food fuel “The Moral Equivalent of War”? Will corn prices be 41% higher than today’s price by 2020?


Is making ethanol an efficient cost effective method for fuel? At a time when ethanol-gasoline mixtures (gasohol) are touted as the American answer to fossil fuel shortages by corn producers, food processors and some lawmakers, Cornell’s David Pimentel takes a longer-range view.


The following graph shows the “Historic and Projected U. S. Corn Usage, 1995-2008”. It is important to note as the percentage of Ethanol increases the percentage of feed corn decreases. Also note that most corn produced is feed corn and not for human consumption.


There are increasingly those that would like to curb ethanol production, or have the Environmental Protection Agency to restructure rules that would require greater production of ethanol from corn. Critics of the proposal said that too much attention was being placed on ethanol as a reason for rising food prices, and that not enough attention was being placed on the role that rising crude oil prices. It’s for sure that food and fuel prices are escalating-good or bad?

Of interest are the candidate’s views on technological issues: Energy, Climate change, Space program, skilled worker shortage, and technology.