White Castle, Wendy’s and a group of congressmen voiced objections to corn-based biofuels (ethanol) on the grounds that fuel produced from food crops push up food prices. At a press conference at Capitol Hill, the group demanded the repeal of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS requires transportation fuels to include a minimum mix of renewables, among which is ethanol.
By diverting huge amounts of corn acreage from producing corn feed for cattle—the food industry’s source of burgers and steaks—the coalition argues that the RFS is pushing up food prices.
In a press release, the National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) said, “The federal RFS mandate drastically manipulates the corn marketplace and increases commodity and food costs across the supply chain—from farmers and chain restaurants to consumers and diners.
“NCCR, along with other coalition partners and members of Congress, will hold a press conference to launch ‘Feed Food Fairness: Take RFS Off the Menu.’”
Congressmen Bob Goodlatte, R, Virginia and Jim Matheson, D, Utah, will join spokespersons for the restaurants and cattle producers at the press conference.
My Take on ethanol: Yes, using acreage to produce the biofuel does raise the price of animal feed, but, more importantly, it deprives the hungry in the US and in countries around the world of human feed.
Corn is a fertilizer-intensive crop that results in pollution-intensive runoffs into our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans.
Nitrogen aside, corn biofuel is expensive to produce and transport because it can’t be sent through a pipeline. It has to be transported from point A to point B via large trucks that burn considerable gasoline.
Finally, US drivers may face a $13,000,000,000 increase in the cost of gasoline this summer—the price of federally mandated ethanol credits has risen 10-fold for oil refiners, a group that’s urging the US EPA to reduce the amount of ethanol they’re required to include in gasoline.
Despite high-minded claims and promises, it’s those wonderful folks who brought us high-fructose corn syrup, the Corn Lobby, that benefits from ethanol production, not the consumer or the environment.
Source: Smart Planet Daily, June 17, 2013 Bloomberg.com, March 19, 2013