Critics of ethanol--especially corn ethanol- like to use scare tactics to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) into the public forum by framing the discussion that corn used for ethanol is diverted from the food supply chain.
The good news is that ethanol process by-products (in this case, DDGs-Dried Distillers Grains) allow the highly-nutritional value of corn to be used for the food market. Corn-based ethanol is not a food OR fuel issue. It's Food AND Fuel.
This week, the US Grains Council released a report that Mexican livestock producers are seeing the benefits associated with using DDGs. Some key points from the report:
- DDGS, a co-product of ethanol production, are an affordable and efficient feed source for livestock.
- In 2003, Mexico imported less than 50,000 metric tons of U.S. DDGS, but last year’s total shipment amounted to 438,347 tons
- U.S. DDGS exports to Mexico had increased by 21,173 tons. Then DDGS exports again increased by 238,971 tons to 428,347 tons in 2006.
- As of May this year, 327,859 tons have been transported to Mexico
- As the push for ethanol production persists in the United States, the amount of DDGS for export will increase significantly
- For every gallon of ethanol that is produced in the United States, nearly 7 pounds of DDGS are derived.
- For example, a 40 million gallon ethanol plant would have an output of 266 million pounds of DDGS.
Source: USGC: Exports of U.S. Ethanol Co-Products to Mexico Skyrocket