Posted by: A. C. Cockerill | August 14, 2012

Question of the Week #34: Government

Question of the Week #34:

Due to the drought, corn yields have apparently dropped to a 17-year low, and corn prices have risen from $6.37 in June to $7.36 in July. ( ) Currently, about 40% of U. S. corn goes to make ethanol. Do you believe burning this percentage of corn is too low, too high, or just about right?

My two cents (but please share yours):

I question burning any food for fuel, while food is still a limited resource. Eventually, we’ll achieve limitless abundance, but we’re not there, yet.


  1. I agree completely!

    • Thank you very much, Christy. Cheers, Ashley

  2. I don’t think food is a limited resource as much as food distribution is not equal to the job of getting food to hungry people.

    • Hi Mona, What percentage of corn produced do you believe should be used for ethanol? Cheers, Ashley

      • This is a many edged question. First off we have the issue of genetically modified (GMO) corn. Which shouldn’t exist as a food. Now if they want to grow that for fuel, fine. Just figure out a way to keep the spores/seeds out of the “real” corn field. Can’t do that so much. Next, and I’m going from a really fuzzy memory here, I’m not completely sold on the efficacy of corn as a fuel. To answer your question as directly as I can, 0% if the corn is non GMO; undetermined % if it is.

      • I share your concern about genetically modified corn, Mona. And I’m not certain it’s a good idea to devote high-quality farmland to growing it, even for fuel. Cheers, Ashley

      • The GMO corn could always be grown on the crappy farmland but why grow it at all? Monsanto has so much to answer for

      • I guess that would depend on how easily GMO crosses with non-GMO, Mona. Cheers, Ashley

  3. I just wish they could make it from cotton so our West Texas farmers could get a decent price for their products.

    • Hi David, Is there an alternative energy in development that uses cotton? I haven’t seen anything of this sort, yet. Cheers, Ashley

      • Not at this time.

      • Sounds like a research/startup-business opportunity, David. Cheers, Ashley

  4. Living in Alaska, I am aware of not only food as a resource, but the need for fuel to get that food to us. We are not a self-sufficient state (I believe less than 3% of our food is local.) While I don’t think corn ethanol is the best source for fuel, I am as concerned about getting the food to us in an affordable manner as I am about growing the food in the first place.

    • I think you may be the first person from Alaska I’ve ever chatted with, Tam. Thank you so much for sharing your very interesting perspective. Cheers, Ashley

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