Should we grow crops for food or fuel?

Omagh, Northern Ireland
February 3, 2009 1:58pm CST
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/02/biofuels-health Growing corn for use as a fuel is pushing up the price of the crop for those relying on it as a foodstuff..not to mention the environmental cost of the fertilisers and equipment to harvest and process it...How about growing alternative fuel producing vegetation/algae/plant X that would require less/no artificial assistance? thoughts?
3 people like this
3 responses
@tdemex (3547)
• United States
3 Feb 09
I've been keeping track of this for a long time. When Bush made the ethanol rule, it started the ball rolling, I knew at that time it was a creation for disaster. I didn't read the link you posted, but it started the price of corn going thru the roof. It had global ramifications that will be hard to reverse. Brazil is a good case in study they been a leader in bio fuel technology, but as we Americans just jump into something with out research is normal!!!! Brazil spent millions and they use sugar cane, but they also have developed a process to make it out of praire grass. You know like the prarrie grass we have growing on millions and millions of acres in the midwest all over the plains of this country, where people spend money trying to get rid of this natural growing resource. What an irony this is! Another feather in his (Bushes) cap!!!! I wish people in the USA would wake up!!!! tdemex
@user_786 (1338)
3 Feb 09
It is great that alternative fuel producing methods are being tried. Scientist say earth has oil left for about 80 years. Besides working on solar-energy or other methods to obtain energy to drive cars, etc, growing corps that can produce fuel is a great idea if it can be successful
2 people like this
• Canada
3 Feb 09
I am 100% in favour of alternative fuel products! But my concern is the reduction of Food crops...(our prairie wheat farmers/flax/rye etc.,) have turned to growing fuel grade crops, so there is becoming a shortage of Food grades crops! It's almost like fuelling our vehicles is taking precedence over fuelling our bodies! Great discussion...thanx!
1 person likes this
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
7 Jan 10
Aren't Farmers still getting subsidies for crops they produce that are surplus to requirements? I was reading an article a while back that US Disaster relief money being offered to disaster or Famine hit areas was being offered only on the condition that it was to be used to purchase surplus grain from the US,and delivered on US Merchant Ships..it was conditionally NOT to be used to help the local farmers and economy get back on their feet,with a result that "Free" grain was being put into the economy,and No business can survive or stand up to the competition offering free product!
@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
4 Feb 09
There have been arguments for and against the use of biofuel. Both sides have convincing points to gain supporters. In my opinion the development of biofuel should not be detrimental to our food supply. Any steep demand and increase in price will have an effect in other countries. The quest for a renewable fuel source means we may have to grow crops for both food and fuel. Any crop chosen should not affect its role of providing food for the people. Palm oil trees are not native to my country but it has been sucessfully grown on a large scale. Therefore it means there is a possibility it can be planted in other tropical areas. Dry areas near the sea could be irrigated with desalinated water. Any developed country should not discard any progress made by developing countries in the production and use of biofuel. all the best, rosdimy
1 person likes this