Friday, December 21, 2007

How America Stacks Up on Food Costs

How America Stacks Up Food Costs Around the Word, Percent of budget spent on food, Food vs. FuelHeated discussions on food prices and supplies have dominated the news over the past months.

The energy bill signed by President Bush this week sets a quota for 36 billion gallons of biofuels and 15 billion gallons from corn-based ethanol.

But according to the corn growers association, those discussions linking food and gasoline prices to ethanol use are flawed.

In a release this week, they detailed:
  • It's true that holiday dinner for 10 will rise about $4 this year, but the real dollar price adjusted for inflation has actually dropped by about 9 percent in the past 20 years, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
  • Americans spend about 10 percent of their disposable income on food. Households in India often spend 50 percent; many European countries spend double what Americans do.
  • Farmers work hard to ensure our food supply is not only safe and secure, but plentiful enough to meet all demands and retain affordable food prices consumers have come to expect. Corn producers are harvesting the largest crop on record. More than 13 billion bushels. Of that nearly 2 billion will remain for use next year.
  • Farmers contribute to national energy security and no shortage of corn will result because of increased ethanol production.
  • Ethanol production is projected to use 17 percent to 18 percent of corn yields with roughly 30 percent being returned to the feed system as distiller grains, which have higher unit protein content than the original corn.
  • New technologies are resulting in continuing increases in per acre corn yield, making unlikely any shortages for food or fuel, even for global supplies.
  • Corn growers are part of the solution to high energy prices. They are helping to create a more secure energy future for Americans by producing corn for cleaner-burning renewable ethanol, and not at the expense of providing food.
To learn more about the impact farmers have on keeping the country's food costs affordable while stretching energy resources, visit Consumers can also leave their own message thanking farmers this holiday season by participating in a video contest and entering to win $1,500.

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