Monday, July 16, 2007

More green thoughts - about corn prices

Read this article about the rising costs of dairy products. And I must admit that my concern is this: what will happen to ice cream?

It seems that the demand for ethanol has in turn spiked demand for corn, which in turn is bringing the cost of an ice cream cone to $3.50 at Ivanna Cone in Lincoln, Nebraska.

"The squeeze on ice-cream makers, chocolate manufacturers and pizza companies – all of whom use dairy produce as a raw material – is set to tighten as the price of a gallon of milk in the US – up 55 per cent in the past 12 months in some American states – is now the same as a gallon of petrol, with dairy prices accelerating faster than the cost of fuel.

Prices for dairy products have also risen because of increasing demand from China and the Middle East along with the drought in Australia, reduced subsidies in the European Union and the rocketing cost of corn."

So we're on the ethanol bandwagon, but it doesn't sound like we've counted all the costs. What kind of energy does an ethanol plant use? Does it still use petroleum products? Water? What is the effect on the cost of all food prices (not just dairy)? How will this affect poor people, specifically, children?

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