Maybe it's a good thing that American biofuel plants are filing for bankruptcy protection. According to a previously secret report conducted by the World Bank and obtained by the Guardian newspaper, biofuel production is hugely responsible for the food price crisis. How much? The report - the "most detailed analysis of the crisis so far," in the Guardian's words - says that biofuels caused global food prices to rise by 75 percent. This is much higher than previous estimates. Food Before Fuel est
Certainly not an unbiased observer, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued an economic analysis that reveals that crops grown for biofuels (in the U.S., that means mostly soybeans for biodiesel and corn for ethanol) are not responsible for the recent increase in food prices. In fact, the USDA found that just about anything but biofuels are to blame: high energy prices, increasing global demand, drought and other factors are all called "primary drivers" of the increased fo
Yesterday, I wrote about an article in the Economist that equated the amount of maize it takes to make a gallon of ethanol with a year's worth of food. Earlier today, we saw the latest bit of bad news from an ethanol producer (the suspension of construction of a large ethanol plant in Imperial Valley). Still, ethanol does have its defenders, and one of them - from Poet Energy - contacted AutoblogGreen to point us to a brand new study by Informa Economics that finds that overall food prices have
Every day, it seems, corn ethanol gets a little less attractive. In fact, if the information in this article from the latest print edition of The Economist catches on, then ethanol advocates are going to have two more easy-to-remember absurditiies to defend: 1.) biofuels will use a third of the maize grown in the U.S. this year and 2.) filling "up an SUV's fuel tank with ethanol [uses] enough maize to feed a person for a year."
Here's the deal: ethanol is not the only reason that the average price of a bowl of cereal and milk is moving from 44 cents last year to 49 cents this year to an expected 56 cents next year. But, as AP writer Lauren Villagran explains, a weak U.S. dollar, high fuel prices and China's growing economy don't hide the fact that the rapid increase in corn ethanol production is affecting people at the grocery store. And so, the "worst bout of food inflation since 1990" does have something to do with a