It's really driving up the prices of tortillas(twice as much) in Mexico which is the main stay diet for the poor. The bright side is that it creating jobs in Mexico where farmers are starting to farm again because the prices are high enough now. Maybe slow down the flow into the US. Unfortunately they will probabaly be forced out of the boom because they won't have enough punch to compete on a global market. There's others alternatives to corn like algae but corn is what the politicians want to give our money to now. The poor not having enough food is not because we don't have enough food or money it politics. YMMV
All of the food to fuel crops have this catch, except maybe for the ones that use the "leftover crop parts" to make the fuel. For that reason, I only look at bio fuels as one component that solves X percent of the market. For example, how much waste oil from french fry cookers is available for bio-diesel, and how much of that oil would have been recycled for (useful?) product Y to begin with?
Black Humor Time. Feed your car or feed your children? Which one is it going to be? Here is a quote from the article :
Filling the 25-gallon tank of an SUV with pure ethanol requires over 450 pounds of corn -- which contains enough calories to feed one person for a year.
Note : How many gallons of gasoline in a barrel of oil? Answer: a 42-gallon barrel of oil makes about 19.5 gallons of gasoline (Source = http://www.gravmag.com/oil.html).
Science Fiction Time : Oh man, what if they make genetically modified corn for fuel? If that mixes with corn food crops, what a mess. 97 Octane Corndogs!
Nice discussion here...I agree with most of what's been said. Bad things happen when the government starts meddling around with industries, regardless of which way it goes.
Here in Wisconsin, our brilliant governor thinks it's a good idea to charge higher "fees" to oil companies to sell gas in our state. As my Texan friend points out, you know who really takes it in the shorts under that scenario. I suppose a lot of people feel better sleeping at night thinking the government is "doing something" by "sticking it to the man". I am not a fan of such "feel-good" policy.