Tag Archives: food vs. fuel

The Biofuels Update

Yesterday I was sitting around wondering what I was going to write about today, searching for inspiration, when it hit me — I’ll ask my twitter friends!  So I posted, “looking for the latest, greatest, hottest, info/news on biofuels.” And that’s where the ideas came from for today’s post — Thanks to @EpicBear and @tomkimmerer for your suggestions, I really appreciate them. Biofuels Digest reports that confirmation hearings, begin next Tuesday for Energy Secretary-designate Dr. Read More >

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How Much Corn Is in a Barrel of Oil?

A segment on the Discovery Channel’s show “How Stuff Works” caught my eye this week and prompted that question. The segment points out that Xanthan gum, fermented from corn syrup, is used in oil drilling. Xanthan is combined with the drilling mud used to cool drilling equipment, and it helps to clear dirt and rock from the mud as well as maintain a pressure cap on the bore hole. The primary markets for Xanthan gum Read More >

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High Food Prices Hurt Consumers and Biofuels Companies

Yesterday, the New York Times wrote: “A United Nations food agency called on Tuesday for a review of biofuel subsidies and policies, noting that they had contributed significantly to rising food prices and the hunger in poor countries. With policies and subsidies to encourage biofuel production in place in much of the developed world, farmers often find it more profitable to plants crops for fuel than for food, a shift that has helped lead to Read More >

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A Tale of Two Studies

Don Mitchell of the World Bank’s Development Prospects Group has released an official version of his analysis of biofuels’ impact on the rise in global food prices. An early version of the study was leaked to the Guardian in London on July 4. Mitchell attributes 70 to 75 percent of the increase in food commodities prices to “biofuels and the related consequences of low grain stocks, large land use shifts, speculative activity and export bans.” Read More >

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Purdue University Weighs In on What’s Driving Food Prices

The Farm Foundation recently released a report prepared by Purdue University agricultural economists on the forces driving food price increases. They conclude that higher food prices are the result of the complex interaction of global changes in supply and demand for commodities, the depreciation of the U.S. dollar, as well as growth in production of biofuels. According to the authors, these factors have combined to rapidly raise demand for U.S. grains beyond current production, leading Read More >

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