Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ethanol Fuel vs. U.S.'s Food Supply

In a recent article by the Washington Times, concerns have been raised about the effects ethanol production for fuels have on the food industry. Federal ethanol-fuel policies have forced consumers to pay an extra 0.5 to 0.8 % in increased food prices according to sources. This painful increase has not only been noticed by all households in the U.S. but had struck hard those who rely on a constant inexpensive supply of food. Because of these increases, the government could face paying nearly $1 billion more in food stamps because of the redirection of corn feedstock for corn based products.

Corn is used in a variety of products such as corn-syrups used to sweeten many of our daily foods and drinks, meats, dairy, and poultry. Because of the wide spread use of such products the allocation of corn crops for alternative products can really hit hard where consumers need it the most, at home. By producing more ethanol fuel from the nation’s corn crops naturally the demand for corn and corn based products will go up. It’s just the simple economic example of supply and demand.

Yet another way the U.S. government is supporting the allocation of corn stocks is the support mixing ethanol with current gasoline in order to foster the U.S.’s energy independence and to cut down on green house emissions. However, the call for lower emissions has only decreased by less than 1/3rd of 1 percent. Also, the federal government has mandated that certain amounts of renewable fuels be used to replace motor-vehicle fuel, and ethanol is the prime candidate for this mandate.

By trying to help the U.S.’s stance on alternative energy by ethanol fuels, the government is really hurting those who are affected most, its own people. While alternative energy is an important focus for not only our nation’s future, but the world’s future it’s important to take care of those who are in your own backyard. Therefore, other means of alternative energy/fuels should be considered and preferably one that doesn’t interfere with the food supply for U.S and world citizens.

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