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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 21, 2010

GRAIN FOR U.S. ETHANOL COULD FEED 300 MILLION FOR A YEAR

Earth Policy - The 107 million tons of grain that went to U.S. ethanol distilleries in 2009 was enough to feed 330 million people for one year at average world consumption levels. More than a quarter of the total U.S. grain crop was turned into ethanol to fuel cars last year. With 200 ethanol distilleries in the country set up to transform food into fuel, the amount of grain processed has tripled since 2004. . .

Even if the entire U.S. grain crop were converted to ethanol (leaving no domestic crop to make bread, rice, pasta, or feed the animals from which we get meat, milk, and eggs), it would satisfy at most 18 percent of U.S. automotive fuel needs.

Continuing to divert more food to fuel, as is now mandated by the U.S. federal government in its Renewable Fuel Standard, will likely only reinforce the disturbing rise in hunger.


3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's OK. It's "renewable".

January 21, 2010 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all corn is equal, and therefore, this article is somewhat misleading with regards to the number of people that could be fed by the crop devoted towards ethanol production. As it is not is not intended for human consumption, farmers are planting genetically modified varieties capable of nearly double the yields. So, the figure of how many people possibly feeds really somewhere closer to 150-200 million.

Nevertheless, the point of the article is well taken. However, the greater concerns ought to center on the impact ethanol production can have of water tables. Every gallon of ethanol produced, ultimately requires something near to 1,700 gallons of water input---water from already disappearing aquifers. Additionally, there is the issue of ground water contamination resulting from the chemical bombardment that genetically modified corn has been designed to accept in order to obtain the impressive yield numbers.
As we are learning from the tragedy in Haiti, it is possible to go a long time without adequate food, but the absence of water can kill in only a matter of days.
Now there' food for thought.
and on it continues...

January 22, 2010 6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually the yields of GMO crops have not come close to the double yields they have been promising. Most GMO crops either match or produce less then their conventional counterparts. GMOs are all about corporations controlling the food supply.

http://www.biointegrity.org/
increased-risks-no-benefits.htm

January 24, 2010 12:28 PM  

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