The following is from my June 2008 newsletter article. Why in God’s good name do we make ethanol out of food and specifically, corn?
Mexico may boast about being the king of corn consumption, but they do not hold a candle to the United States. Corn is in practically everything we eat. Corn is used as feed for livestock and poultry. When you take a big bite out of the hamburger, you are eating corn. Look at the ingredients of foodstuffs on any grocery isle. Your will see either corn or a derivative of corn, oftentimes corn syrup. Corn syrup is high in calories, is sweet, and has very little value to our diets. It is probably THE leading cause of obesity in this country.
So without even trying, we consume vast quantities of corn. When the making of ethanol as a gasoline additive became popular, the corn lobby successfully convinced our government to use corn in making ethanol. Both the administration and the congress were co-conspirators in this evil scheme. Subsidies flow into the corn producers and even more subsidies into the ethanol manufacturers.
To make ethanol out of corn is inefficient. That is why it must be subsidized by our tax dollars to be viable. It takes more energy to make ethanol than what ethanol provides in energy when it is made from corn. Corn ethanol is a big polluter in production and in the burning in our cars.
Brazil weaned itself from oil by making ethanol from sugar cane. This method of making ethanol is much more efficient. Cars in Brazil run entirely on ethanol. Ethanol can be made from anything organic. Some organic sources are more efficient than others. Corn is not on the good list.
The demand for corn rose as the demand for corn ethanol rose. Farmers switched from growing other crops, particularly wheat, to corn. In spite of the increased supply, corn prices continue to skyrocket. Since there are fewer other crops being planted, those food prices also are up.
So we and the rest of the world are paying more for food. In some countries this is now a crisis situation. Everyone of us who have been in a grocery store are well aware of this situation.
It is evil to make fuel out of food. Our members in congress can do something about this. We need to let them know how we feel about this to give them the political backbone to stand up to the corn lobby.