May 09, 2007

Corn: Good for you and your car?

The largest Ethanol plant in the United States is being built here in Western Pennsylvania. They have not released any information as to what will be used to manufacture the Ethanol, but many farmers around the area are hoping for corn.

I recently chatted with one farmer who is no longer focusing on growing consumer crops. This year the main focus of their farm will be on corn, which will be used for manufacturing ethanol.

That’s good business for them, their crops aren’t even grown yet and they have someone who will buy them all! However, what about the consumer? Who is going to grow the lettuce, peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, and other crops they normally grow? Last year a dozen ears of corn cost around $3.00 at the roadside stand. I won’t be surprised to see prices closer to $5.00 this year.

What about the cattle, pig, and poultry farmers who purchase much of their corn to be used as feed? They will be paying higher prices for feed, so you will be paying higher prices for your burgers, bacon and eggs, at the local butcher shops.

It takes just as much energy to manufacture ethanol as it does gasoline. Furthermore, the “corn syrup” which is a sugary substance can also damage the fuel system in your car.

As more farmers switch to growing corn for ethanol, where will our food come from? We will import it from other countries. Does everyone remember the e-coli outbreak with spinach not too long ago? No thanks! I’d rather import oil that doesn’t make me sick!

Just my thoughts.

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