“The cost of food has soared as more and more corn is being produced for fuel, not food. U.S.
Department of Labor numbers show that the staples are up dramatically: eggs, almost 30 percent; milk, just over 13 percent.” - Elizabeth Brackett, NewsHour correspondent:
As corn prices have risen with demand for ethanol in recent years, corn farmers are prospering. But others — such as hog farmers who rely on corn feed — are facing tough times, and some critics blame ethanol demand for rising food prices. One 56 lb bushel of corn can be distilled into 2.7 gallons of ethanol, which burns cleaner than gasoline. Ethanol production has long been touted as a “green” alternative to our current dependence on oil. Congress provides ethanol subsidies and President Bush has called for steep annual increases in ethanol production. But some have questioned ethanol (especially made of corn) as a wise choice for automobile fuel. Is ethanol the real culprit in the rising price of corn and other basic foods? This video report raises these questions and looks at the winners and losers in the current ethanol boom.
What is the effect of rising gasoline prices on alternative fuels? What are the pros and cons on using ethanol fuel? Besides corn, what other plants can be used to create ethanol? Why is Brazil a world leader in producing and using ethanol fuel? Why do some U.S. cities require the use of ethanol while others don’t? What are the advantages of cellulosic ethanol over corn or other grain-based ethanol? Are there other viable alternative fuels besides ethanol?
Below are web links related to this story.
Report: Corn Farmers Prosper, Others Lose Out with Ethanol Use
Report: Ethanol Boom Aids Farmers, but Stirs Environmental Concerns
In-Depth Coverage: Alternative Fuels
Student Voice: The Illusion of a Clean Future with Ethanol
Lesson Plan with Links: Automobile Choices And Alternative Fuels
Case Study of A Educational Resource Website: Our Ethanol Debate Great Site!!
Wired Magazine: One Molecule Could Cure Our Addiction to Oil
Wired Magazine: Biomass Adds to Ethanol Debate
List of renewable energy organizations
USDA: Ethanol Reshapes the Corn Market