Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What's behind the World's growing food-price crisis?

Year by year Humanity has reached Peak oil. So rising oil prices make many people think of bio-ethanol as a possible solution. But ethanol fuels are produced by fermentaion of sugars derived from wheat, corn, sugar beets, sugar cane, molasses etc. Here comes trouble. In fact, data show that developed countries already spend a very high percetage of their domestic cereals supply for livestock production, especially pigs. The European Union e the USA use between 70% and 90% domestic ceral supply for feeding animals and with 470 million of hogs, China has more pigs than the rest of the planet stacked together!!!

Yet from 2007 to 2008 the share of ethanol in global gasoline type fuel use increased from 3.7 % to 5.4 %. In 2009 worldwide ethanol fuel production reached 19.5 billion gallons (73.9 billion liters). Soon very large-scale farming will be necessary to produce agricultural alcohol with substantial amounts of cultivated land. University of Minnesota researchers report that if all corn grown in the USA were used to make ethanol it would displace 12 % of current US gasoline consumption only.
In summary, the growing demand for the energy sector and the most traditional use for feeding animals make millions of people starve. 
Prices on such food as corn and wheat have risen over 180%. Rising food prices that have already caused rebellion in several developing countries will likely push more than 100 millions of people into deep poverty.

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