Simon Leufstedt

The U.S. now uses more corn to fuel their cars than to eat

Only around 20% of all the corn grown in America now goes to feed humans. The majority of the corn produced is being turned into ethanol fuel, TreeHugger reports. And one smaller part of the corn production also goes to feed our ever expanding meat industry.

Global Hunger Index says that America's use of biofuels plays a big role in creating famine's and increasing food prices around the world.

"US policies encouraging corn ethanol production, such as subsidies and mandates, ensure more corn is grown for fuel rather than food – especially when oil prices are high. "What this means is that every policy on biofuels will create an increase in volatility, will create an increase in price and that will be translated to all the other countries," Torero said. Torero warned that projected growth in US biofuel production over the next decade would put even more pressure on global corn prices."

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I really do wonder how the thinking went when people actually started to consider that it would be a good idea to turn food into fuel. It sickens me really!

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That is why biofuel is more unsustainable than using your regular fuel. It cost more to produce biofuel than regular fuel. They are just adding more problems than a solution to a problem.

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That is the problem why it is not appropriate to use corn and some other crops as energy source since it is more needed by the people. There are shortage of foods to some areas and it will not be good way to treat foods.

Better use the sun and wind as source since they are abundant on certain places.

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Seems to me that it is not important to the farmers where there crops will go as long as they get a good price. Corn is meant for food and not for fuel. How many people are already starving in this world? Must we increase this situation?

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Seems to me that it is not important to the farmers where there crops will go as long as they get a good price. Corn is meant for food and not for fuel. How many people are already starving in this world? Must we increase this situation?

When the price of gas went up to $4 a gallon here in 2008, farmers all around here literally packed their fields with corn. I'd never seen so much corn grown around here, and this is a pretty heavily ag area. It was all going for fuel. We grow a little corn in the garden, just to eat, but can usually buy it cheap during harvest season. Not so anymore! The price of fresh corn even at the roadside markets has at least doubled in the past two years. In the grocery store, it has tripled.

Simon Leufstedt likes this

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I always thought at least the use of methane made from corn was a great idea, in that at least some effort is being made in this world towards other forms of energy. I am sure corn is not the only plant that could produce methane. It is just the first (or one of) the first that has been tried. I didn't read the article for which this post belongs. However, I wonder: can the farmers really help who orders their corn?

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However, I wonder: can the farmers really help who orders their corn?

Now that's an interesting question. I would say no. Especially not in a globalized capitalistic world order where short-term profits goes before long-term gains. But our governments could easily introduce laws that regulate the trade and thus effectively banning the sale of food for the sole purpose of creating fuel for our cars and whatnot.

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New land is being turned to farmland for corn at an alarming rate over here in the US too.  It's destroyed native plants and habitat for wildlife at a fast pace.  The whole poicy is just to make money.

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New land is being turned to farmland for corn at an alarming rate over here in the US too.  It's destroyed native plants and habitat for wildlife at a fast pace.  The whole poicy is just to make money.

 

And its monoculture. There are so many variations of corn but only a few are being grown.

Mark Piazzalunga likes this

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The first generation of biofuels isn't green and polluting (less than oil but still high) although they could be a "transition" to renewable energy. Unfortunately solar cars aren't totally advanced and improving biofuels technology (methanol is a good alternative, it is produced from CO2) could have positive effects.

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Here's an alternative to biofuels: Electrofuels. Current biofuel production methods are intensive and require additional resources, such as water, fertilizer, and large areas of land to grow crops. Electrofuels bypass photosynthesis altogether by utilizing microorganisms that are self-reliant and don't need solar energy to grow or produce biofuels.

These microorganisms can directly use energy from electricity and chemical compounds like hydrogen to produce liquid fuels from carbon dioxide (CO2). Because these microorganisms can directly use these energy sources, the overall efficiency of the fuel-creation process is higher than current biofuel production methods that rely on the more passive photosynthesis process. Scientists can also genetically modify the microorganisms to further improve the efficiency of energy conversion to liquid fuels. And, because electrofuels don't use photosynthesis, they don't require the prime agricultural land or water resources of current biofuels.

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