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WaxyChicken 02-21-2008 08:56 PM

Ethanol kills grain food market

According to a Scientific American research article, The United States would
have to convert 100% of it's land to farming Wheat and grain (not just farm
land, but all land) to meet 80% of the county's demand for ethanol if 100% of
USAmerica switched to the E85 standard.

Well, the US is not doing that and some other countries simply can't do that,
even though E85 and Ethanol are in more of a demand now than ever.

This article is an example of the consequence we are seeing for increased
Ethanol and E85 use as less wheat is being farmed to meet the corn's Ethanol
demand. You have already seen the prices of milk and eggs rise as corn
(used as feed to these animals) has become more expensive due to this
alt-fuel demand. But, as it turns out, the pocket pain does not end there.
(end my commentary)
__________________________________________________ ________

Why You Will Pay More for Bread, Pasta
Rising Demand for Wheat Worldwide Means Skyrocketing Bread and Pasta
Prices for U.S.
Bakery owner Pam Weeks counts every pinch of flour and watches every

"It's just unbelievable how much the price of flour went up overnight β€”
literally," said Weeks, who runs Levain Bakery in New York City.

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Just a few weeks ago, 50-pound bags of flour cost about $15. Today, they're
"You try to figure out ways to cope, but it's to the point now where we are
going to have no choice. We're going to have to raise prices," she said.
Blame it on the price of wheat. Demand for alternative energy has farmers
planting less wheat and more corn, the key ingredient of ethanol. According
to the USDA, since 1997, the amount of farmland dedicated to planting wheat
has dropped from 70.4 million acres to 60.4 million, while corn acreage has
risen from 79.5 million to 99.6 million.

Add to that the growing appetite for wheat from developing countries, and
the supply is strained. U.S. wheat stockpiles have hit a 60-year low, and
wheat prices have never been higher, which means pasta prices have
doubled. And that loaf of bread will cost you an extra 20 cents. Economists
say food inflation is as high as it has been in nearly 15 years.

The price spike is being felt across the globe. In Italy, the cost of pasta is
spiraling β€” up 20 percent since September. Malaysia no longer allows anyone
to take flour out of the country. And in Pakistan, they now stockpile wheat
and use their military to guard flour mills.

"As long as this strong foreign demand continues β€” as long as the demand
for ethanol continues very rapidly ... there just doesn't seem to be any end
in sight," said Vic Lespinasse, a grain analyst with Illinois Grain.

This puts wheat farmers, like Joe Kejr of Kansas, in the unusual position of
being in the driver's seat.

"It's real exciting to see where prices are. Prices I haven't seen in my
lifetime," Kejr said.

With the world's hunger for ethanol changing the landscape of America,
Weeks said she wonders at what price it will curb our appetite for wheat.

Frank Lee 02-21-2008 09:00 PM

Clearly too many people/acre.

basjoos 02-21-2008 09:05 PM

In short, the appetite of your neightbor's flex-fuel SUV for ethanol is directly competing with your own appetite for food. I wonder which biofuel consumer will win out?

WaxyChicken 02-21-2008 09:17 PM

Doesn't this article also imply that Ethanol will never really get cheaper in price due to the amount of corn production needed?

NoCO2 02-21-2008 09:38 PM

I always said it was a bad idea to use food as fuel for your car...Honestly, electric is the way to go. People just don't believe it.

WaxyChicken 02-21-2008 09:52 PM

^---- I'm with you 100%. Even if they got the Water powered car to work, it's still too many moving parts, too much repair cost, and the hydrogen bonding problem (hydrogen 'rust')

NoCO2 02-21-2008 10:10 PM

Electricity has always been my favorite mode of transportation. It's (relatively) quiet, it's efficient(er) and it's clean(er). The only problem so far has been the evolution of the battery. Right now, the best electric car I have seen is the Tesla roadster which is planned for debut pretty soon. It can manage the speed of a standard sedan or compact car (~125mph top speed). It can do 250 miles on one charge and gets really good acceleration. So that proves that it's possible, but it's very expensive to do, the Tesla roadster has an MSRP of $98,000 which is out of reach for most people, but that's mainly because it uses very expensive components, the least of which is not the batteries. Oil companies should spend less time making oil work and more time making batteries better.

james 02-21-2008 10:43 PM

Don't you love it when the "solution" creates more problems than the original.

trebuchet03 02-21-2008 10:48 PM


Globally, foodstuff prices increased 37% last year (over the 14% increase in 2006). Food tensions, shortages and riots have taken their toll in Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Yemen and the list goes on… A stampede of cooking oil buyers, in China, left three people dead and thirty-one injured.
^^ Paraphrasing a NY Times article on Palm Oil.


Clearly too many people/acre.
Too many people in general... Correction - too many people with a horribly balanced lifestyle. But that said, I'll say too few people/acre. If the grocery store were within walking or cycling distance - there would be no food/fuel competition :D I hate the whole suburban concept anyway :/ You want me to drive way out where to do anything?!!?

trebuchet03 02-21-2008 10:50 PM


Originally Posted by james (Post 10914)
Don't you love it when the "solution" creates more problems than the original.

That is a consequence of engineering yourself out of a problem in the first place... The important thing is that solutions are being pursued - much better in my opinion than sitting still with blinders and ear muffs.

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