In her column Greenpoint over at the DG, my colleague Margaret Hartley writes about the use of corn for ethanol, rising food prices and the benefits of growing your own food.
Here's an excerpt:
"It’s almost time to plant the corn — and I’m talking about corn in our own gardens, grown for food, not fuel.
But the use of corn for ethanol has changed our food supply, and is changing how people eat and how much. And it’s affecting food prices.
It stands to reason. If fertile agricultural land is being used to grow corn for ethanol, it’s taking land out of food production. Subsidies for ethanol keep corn prices high, which also makes animal feed expensive, which makes meat expensive.
Of course, there are a lot of things affecting food prices. The World Bank reported late last month that rising fuel costs, bad weather in Europe and the United States, and increasing demand in Asia combined to push food prices up 8 percent worldwide between December and March. Because our food supply is no longer local, problems far from home — tsunamis in Japan, droughts in Australia — affect both prices and supply in our local stores.
The globalization of our food supply is not all bad, of course. It keeps us in oranges and coffee, and gives us cheap rice and cinnamon."
Click here to read the whole thing.