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 pound 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 this question and looks at the winners and losers in the current ethanol boom.
"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 thirteen percent." - Elizabeth Brackett, NewsHour correspondent
"Corn prices have gone up certainly because of the demand for ethanol and America's passion for green fuel and going green. That has certainly helped. The weak dollar certainly helps. So we have record exports right now. And that along with ethanol has really driven the price high." - Steve Ruh, Ruh Farms
What is ethanol?
What is supply and demand?
Why is the price of food going up?
How do rising food prices affect Americans?
How is ethanol tied to corn prices? What do you think about ethanol now that you watched this report?