The World Bank: Seven Lost Years – The Effect of Rising Food Prices on Poverty Reduction
High food prices are threatening recent gains in overcoming poverty and malnutrition, and are likely to persist over the medium term, reports a World Bank Group policy note released April 9, 2008.
International Food Policy Research Institute
Supported by the Consultive Group on International Agricultural Research, the institute promotes sustainable solutions for ending hunger, poverty, and malnutrition through research, capacity strengthening, and policy communications. The institute's work includes the December 2007 report “The World Food Situation: New Driving Forces and Required Actions.”
The World Food Situation
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations offers the latest information about food commodity prices, supply and demand, and factors affecting world food markets.
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Biomass Program (EERE)
To meet President George W. Bush’s goal of cutting the United States’ gas consumption by 20 percent by 2017, the EERE’s Biomass Program focuses its research and development on making cellulosic ethanol cost competitive by 2012.
Washington Post: ‘A Culinary and Cultural Staple in Crisis’
Manuel Roig-Franzia reports that the cost of tortillas, a staple in the Mexican diet, has quadrupled due to the rising international costs of turning corn into ethanol. Local tortilla-makers suffer from business loss, and poor populations turn to less healthy foods as a cheaper alternative.
The New York Times: ‘Fuel Choices, Food Crises and Finger-Pointing’
Andrew Martin reports on the worldwide debate over fuel versus food. While the spike in food prices have led to riots, Congress continues to support corn production for ethanol.
Science: ‘Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases’
This article from Science provides a critical look at the carbon emissions that occur as farmers worldwide respond to higher prices and convert forest and grassland to new cropland for biofuels. It goes beyond most prior studies, which focus only on how substituting biofuels for gasoline will reduce greenhouse gases.
Technology Review: Biofuels
This special report by MIT's Technology Review features innovations to create fuel from trash, bacteria, or algae.
National Geographic: Green Dreams
Follow reporter Joel K. Bourne Jr. into a Nebraska ethanol plant as he writes for National Geographic on the biofuel rage, which has hit even the Indianapolis 500.
‘How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor’
For Foreign Affairs, C. Ford Runge and Benjamin Senauer trace the history of ethanol as an alternative fuel source back to the OPEC oil embargo in 1974. The article reports on the growth of the industry and its devastating effects in poor developing countries.
‘Food for Fuel?’
In response to the above Foreign Affairs article, former Senator Tom Daschle argues that corn-based ethanol offers many benefits -- and few downsides for food stocks.
BusinessWeek: ‘Food vs. Fuel’
The rising cost of corn could be detrimental to U.S. pork farmers, according to this BusinessWeek article, which breaks down the costs and benefits on both sides of the ethanol debate.