Food Prices To Rise- Biofuels a Factor

According to a new UN report, world food prices are expected to rise as much as 40% in the next ten years. Hunger and food insecurity have risen as a result of recent price hikes and global economic crisis, resulting in about 1 billion people being undernourished. Biofuels are admitted to be a factor in this.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jun/15/food-prices-rise-un-report

The production of biofuels has long been known to be contributing to world hunger.

2007 article from The Guardian:
“The western appetite for biofuels is causing starvation in the poor world. Developing nations are being pushed to grow crops for ethanol, rather than food – all thanks to political expediency”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/nov/06/comment.biofuels

2008 article from the Times Online (UK)
“Rush for biofuels threatens starvation on a global scale”
Uk government Chief Scientific Adviser Professor John Beddington states publicly that biofuels are likely to cause food shortages that rival climate change in terms of the threat they would pose to humanity.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3500954.ece

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2 responses to “Food Prices To Rise- Biofuels a Factor

  1. I absolutely agree that it is insane to race to grow foods that we then turn into fuel while people the world over are starving.

    However that does not mean that biofuels should be abandoned. Rather we should push world governments towards using otherwise wasted organic material, like switchgrass. Many countries are finding good success using sugarcane, or even better, the unused pieces of sugar cane stock. It grows quickly and has far more energy per acre than things like corn.

    And you are totally right. Corn, soy, etc should be grown for the hungry of the world. And unfortunately, they are not in short supply.

    Best wishes
    Jesse

  2. This is an old argument since proven false by current events. Today’s dent corn prices have retreated to $3 from the high of over $7 that started this hubbub. Have your grocers food prices fallen by over half?
    Notice above I said “dent corn.” Dent corn is one of 5 types of corn grown in the world, they include pop corn, sweet corn, dent corn, flint corn and pod corn.
    Dent corn is grown for industrial use, animal feed and industrial feed stocks. It is the source of things like biodegradable plastics, corn oil, HFCS and many other products. When used in the ethanol process, corn yields not only ethanol, but also Distillers Dried Grains with Solids (DDGS) a great feed ingredient for livestock.
    World hunger is not caused by diverting corn to ethanol, but by a lack of transportation and secure storage. In much of the world vast amounts of food is spoiled by vermin and insects because of poor storage. In war torn areas it is impossible to transport in food to those who really need it. Many poor people in cities have no access to water much less food. They need money and jobs to buy food, provide housing and get water to their homes.
    Switch grass is not a cure all. If it is constantly removed production will decrease with out fertilizer.
    Sugar cane grow best in tropical climates like our rain forests. Do we really need to cut down rain forests for fuel production?
    Biofuels are not the cure all for our future, but they are a bridge that will help us transport and grow the food our future world needs.

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