January 15, 2011

Got Ethanol?

Food supplies are tightening across the world

As supplies tighten, prices surge. Earlier this month, the FAO said its food price index jumped 32 percent in the second half of 2010, soaring past the previous record set in 2008.

Prices rose again this week after the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut back its already-tight estimate of grain inventories. Estimated reserves of corn were cut to about half the level in storage at the start of the 2010 harvest; soybean reserves are at the lowest levels in three decades, the USDA estimates, in part because of heavy buying by China. The ratio of stocks to demand is expected to fall later this year to "levels unseen since the mid-1970s," the agency said.

and Congress wants to save money... simple arithmatic: Stop pushing our food into our fuel supply!

Higher oil prices are also pushing up the cost of food — in two ways. First, the added shipping cost raises the delivered price of agricultural products. Higher oil prices also divert more crops like corn and soybeans to biofuel production, further tightening supplies for livestock feed and human consumption. Conley estimates that more than a third of the corn produced in the U.S is now used to make ethanol.

Let's all hope there actually is such a thing as global warming so we can have extended growing seasons and spend less money on heating and snow removal. Before climate scientists existed, geologists understood the Earth was trapped in a cycle of repeated ice ages. Warming is our best scenario, plants love carbon dioxide... what do you think trees are made of?

More: Experts warn of fuel and food shortages

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