Grains: food or fuel

Legitimate questions are being asked regarding biofuel production from agricultural products – namely, whether the production of biofuels will result in higher food prices. And as any first year economics student can tell you, of course it will – increased demand will lead to higher prices. And this is where ecological issues come into play – higher prices will lead to greater supply. And if history is any guide, forest and other natural ecosystems will be displaced by agriculture. In working to address decreasing oil reserves, climate change and national security, we must not replace one set of ecological and social problems with another. The cheapest source of energy is conservation. Remaining demand must be met by a basket of renewable technologies that are as Earth friendly as feasible.
Planet Ark : FEATURE – Green Fuel Revolution a Challenge for Grain Sector
More and more, crops like corn and soybeans — now primarily used as animal feed and ingredients in hundreds of food products — will be used to make ethanol and biodiesel in coming years, in what could have a ripple effect in the form of higher food prices, some economists say.

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4 Responses

  1. rtdrury says:

    We need to wean ourselves off food based on corn and soybeans, particularly meat. This frees up to 90% of current U.S. cropland. We're effectively converting oil into meat while destroying ecosystems. The corn/soy/meat production represents a large (but not majority) chunk of total energy consumption. Biofuels add to this unsustainable industrial activity. While calorie-maximizing grain production is destroying human health by depleting our nutrition, it is correct for engine fuel. Some 10 to 25 percent of the biofuels will be consumed in making more biofuels after fossil fuel is depleted. Another issue is whether 70% of biofuel consumption will be wasted in internal combustion engines as with fossil fuel today. The White House is determined to expand production of fuels, machinery, synthetic fertilizer, factory farming, military, transport and everything else that consumes energy, preferable at even lower efficiency than now (75% of energy is wasted in the U.S.). The cronies will promote biofuels in hopes of decreasing energy efficiency while building up laws and legalities enabling them to corner that energy market. The people's energy is solar and wind.

  2. Fossils says:


    Since Darwin's time, the fossil record has been pushed back to 3.5 bill

  3. Biodiesel says:


    For every 1 tonne of biodiesel that is manufactured, 100 kg of glycerol ar

  4. Biodiesel says:


    The system will be used to Biodiesel is a renewable

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