Biofuels and food supply

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14 years 6 months ago #2403 by reggit
This might spark an interesting discussion. We've had threads on here about the rising price of products as a flow-on effect of the increased price of grain because of use as biofuel raw materials...

The UN has just released its report on this which states that: "The 232 kg of corn needed to make 50 litres of bioethanol would enable a child to live for a year." www.i-sis.org.uk/Moratorium_on_Biofuels.php

To put it in more graphic terms: "The amount of corn that needed to be burned to make enough ethanol to fill a single car’s fuel tank could fill a child for an entire year” www.digitaljournal.com/article/243853/UN...me_Against_Humanity_

Scary stuff. And certainly brings home that while prices for those in the developed world are increasing as a result, for others around the planet, our thirst for fuels is becoming a matter of life and death.

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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14 years 6 months ago #72405 by sod
Replied by sod on topic Biofuels and food supply
Ill stir the pot. If you can pay for it you get it seems to be the way the world works. I dont agree, but will I give up my car and things????????

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

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14 years 6 months ago #72421 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Biofuels and food supply
This is the big issue, sod [}:)] if we solve this one on here, we'd all be up for a Nobel Peace Prize, I reckon!

Just interesting the comments made about the uses of biofuels, that using it for heating and electricity is much more efficient than using it for running cars.

Seems to me that it might be another hydrogen car red herring, everyone is diving into it to solve all our problems when it might just create a whole heap more. I suppose we've got to hope that other options are being considered in the meantime before we get to a 'peak grain' scenario as we have with oil...

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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14 years 6 months ago #72431 by Valmai
Replied by Valmai on topic Biofuels and food supply
Bio fuel made from waste oil or other waste is a good idea, but it doesnt lend itself to big money making companies long term IMO, and so with the race to cash in on the next cash cow once again we create problems for those at the bottom of the ladder! The less food production they have control of, the less control they have of the people. Im not sure that commercial bio fuel could be produced economically anyway.
"Tin foil hat" or "bleeding heart" I may be. There are alternative technologies out there but the conspiracy theorist in me believes that the patents have been bought up by those who need to ensure their continued profits when oil gets beyond the reach of most people.
I recently read a report which suggested a 300% increase in food prices next year. This is such a difficult subject to speak honestly about, I care about what is happening (started up my vegie garden again) but I still have my 4WD, and although I try to conserve and recycle by 3rd world standards I am guilty of conspicuous consumption. I do what I can in my little corner of the world, it makes me feel as though I am doing something, but I cant see how my actions could make life better for people who are desperate and starving. I am probably being a total hippocrate but I do mean well.

Carbon-based biological unit.

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14 years 6 months ago #72465 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Biofuels and food supply

quote:Originally posted by Valmai
"Tin foil hat" or "bleeding heart" I may be. There are alternative technologies out there but the conspiracy theorist in me believes that the patents have been bought up by those who need to ensure their continued profits when oil gets beyond the reach of most people.

Hear Hear! our thoughts exactly.

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14 years 6 months ago #72468 by lady yank
Replied by lady yank on topic Biofuels and food supply
This topic is sure to spark a debate, but I feel as Valmai does. Corn used for the production of ethanol has caused a jump in corn prices over here. Now everything that uses corn as an ingredient has risen in price. Chickens who eat the corn have gone up. Eggs have doubled in price. Corn oil, corn syrup also up. Now we are being told that wheat is going to skyrocket next. I dread going to the grocery store. As for recycling,I try to do my part by taking my own tote bag to the store when shopping, and I ride a bicycle all the time. I never drive. I find particular satisfaction knowing I am not putting money into the pockets of big oil.

Don't make me release the flying monkeys!

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14 years 6 months ago #72469 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Biofuels and food supply

quote:Originally posted by Valmai
I recently read a report which suggested a 300% increase in food prices next year. This is such a difficult subject to speak honestly about, I care about what is happening (started up my vegie garden again) but I still have my 4WD, and although I try to conserve and recycle by 3rd world standards I am guilty of conspicuous consumption. I do what I can in my little corner of the world, it makes me feel as though I am doing something, but I cant see how my actions could make life better for people who are desperate and starving. I am probably being a total hippocrate but I do mean well.

There was a recent radio report which delved into the cost of Australia's drought and the impact on food prices for the consumer. They found (and I wish I knew the source of the report because I think its worthy making it more public that me just telling you all about it) that the food price increases were not received at the farm gate by the people producing the food, rather the supermarket selling the food, and this is reflected in their annual profit increases....no surprises there eh.

So if we all use our power of One and changed the way we shop, going a bit further away from main shopping centres to purchase what we can, all the power to us and the supermarkets will eventually feel the pinch.

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14 years 6 months ago #72472 by sod
Replied by sod on topic Biofuels and food supply
Have to agree Valmai I guess if we all do the best we can it helps, we shouldn't feel guilty about 3rdworld people as there is only so much we can do.We have been using used cooking oil in our tractor for years before it became worth buying and now its all bought by big "peoples" to make money out of:(so we cant get it.Still use old car as I havn't worked out how to get your taxes to subsidise my new one yet:D:D

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

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14 years 6 months ago #72488 by Crusha
Replied by Crusha on topic Biofuels and food supply
Re the 3rd World food shortage and deviating from the topic somewhat. It's my understanding (and please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that there is plenty of food but it is the lack of infrastructure and or corruption that is causing millions of people worldwide to starve at present. People like Saddam (when he was alive!) or Mugabe and his cronies use food as an instrument of power and distribute it to supporters etc. Lets face it Mugabe doesn't look like he has missed to many dinners does he!

As for biofuels and corn, I read a report that a couple of years ago there was enough stored wheat to feed the world for a year now the stored amount is down to a weeks supply

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14 years 6 months ago #72494 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Biofuels and food supply
Mugabe is a prime example of how a Leader hasn't led his people by example.

The productive farms that have been destroyed because he and his low life croonies chased (murder) the property owners out of their properties in fear of their lives, to "hand back" the land to others who cannot and will not make a go of them whilst celebrating that they have "something" back, is leaving the majority of his people starving and without shelter and employment.

This is my gripe about the UN, where they are in all of this? Too darn worried about creating CC's issues for european trading instead.... my vent for today.:(

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14 years 6 months ago #72505 by organicltd
Replied by organicltd on topic Biofuels and food supply
With the prices of all grains increasing it has to be good for the long term price of beef.
All those yank feedlots finish their cattle on grain. With the BF industry taking all the grain, we in NZ are about to get the benefit of higher prices for our grass finished beef.

Wine does not make you FAT it makes you LEAN...
....against tables, chairs, floors, walls and ugly people.

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14 years 6 months ago #72537 by Valmai
Replied by Valmai on topic Biofuels and food supply
the food price increases were not received at the farm gate by the people producing the food,

Check the price of spuds in the supermarket. The grower is getting 30cents a kilo for top grade spuds!
we in NZ are about to get the benefit of higher prices for our grass finished beef.

BUT A lot of people are now talking about food miles and buy local etc. The fact that we can ship milk and beef to the northern hemisphere for a lower 'carbon footprint' than the UK or USA can produce locally is something they cant or wont acknowledge.

Crusha It's not just infrastructure and corruption, those reserves of grain stay where they are to keep the prices up. They would rather have 10% 15% wastage/shrinkage than sell it cheaper.

Carbon-based biological unit.

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14 years 6 months ago #72542 by maggies mum
Replied by maggies mum on topic Biofuels and food supply
Valmai I'm not entirely sure that the British public (for instance) are acting upon the carbon footprint theory. From my understanding from a UK forum, they want to buy closer to home because they want to support their local communities, farmers markets etc.

And rightly so, isn't that what we all should be trying to do.

Join the Locavore challenge in the New Year! ;)

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