Saturday, August 25, 2007

North Dakota Corn Growers Speak Out on Food vs Fuel

Corn growers in North Dakota are speaking out about the anti-ethanol campaign blaming corn for higher food prices.

The executive director of the North Dakota Corn Growers Association and Utilization Council, Tom Lilja, points out in the recent news story that inflation is the culprit for higher food prices that use corn as an ingredient and not increased ethanol production.
“We don’t know where this food (cost comparison) effort is coming from,” Lilja said. “Essentially, food prices have risen with inflation. It disproves the anti-ethanol campaign. It’s an insignificant price increase.”
Lilja points out that the 25-year average annual food inflation is 2.9 percent, which remains consistently about average. The aggregate increase for all the above-mentioned items in a year is 5.5 percent. However, June 2007 prices are only 3.4 percent higher than June 2005 prices.
“They’re trying to blame corn and really, it should be the price of crude oil,” Lilja said. “That’s increasing the price of everything.”
In a similar effort, the North Dakota Agriculture Commissions, Roger Johnson, also recently spoke out about the issue with a public essay, "Naysayers Are Wrong About Ethanol". In it, he notes:
The principal reason for the rising cost of food was and is $70-a-barrel oil, much of it imported. It is the increased cost of petroleum, not corn, that is driving up the cost of the average grocery bill food to the tune of $10 per week.

In the meantime, ethanol offers us the opportunity to produce and consume more of our own energy. Ethanol is not the entire solution to America’s energy crisis, but is certainly a part of that solution.
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Food and Fuel

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1 comment:

Chris Martin said...

Yea gas price are driving food prices up, but using corn(a food resource for fuel) is just plain stupid. especially when they are alternatives already, i.e. switchgrass, wood biomass, that are more efficent and do not interfere with the a foot product. Hydrogen alternative sould really be I next source of energy.