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Corn-- Ethanol or Oil - the great debate - NOT!!

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Message Mark Lloyd

I love sweetcorn. My son loves sweetcorn. At the age of two, proud new owner of just enough teeth to be dangerous, he could demolish one like a manic typewriter and ask for more. Now at six, it’s two or three in a sitting, no sweat.

In England, corn doesn’t grow very well and the supermarket offerings are tough and tasteless. But here in Minnesota it is sublime. Hardly needs cooking, sweet and utterly delicious with a little butter and salt. Currently it’s on sale in Cub Foods at 10/$2. And that’s the second-grade California stuff, we can’t wait ‘til September!

There’s an ad on TV right now, don’t know if you’ve seen it but basically there’s a regular guy who pulls up in his V8 crewcab next to a cornfield. He grabs a corncob and pulls. The corncob, trailed by its long stalk, gets shoved in the truck’s gas tank and he “fills up”.

This is supposed to make us believe that the car company is eco-friendly. So many trucks on the road running on 85 ethanol, blah blah blah.

Wait just a goshdarn tooting minute, American people. This is corn. It is food.

Let me quote a few statistics to you.

“More than one-third (38%) of families leaving welfare reported that they ran out of food and did not have money for more”. (Urban Institute - 2001)

“96,000,000,000 pounds of food is thrown away each year by the Food Service Industry”. (Source: FoodChain )

“22.2% of shelter clients indicated that their child/children was/were hungry at least once during the previous 12 months but couldn't afford more food”. (America's Second Harvest - 2001)

“Every day, more than 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes--one child every five seconds”. (State of Food Insecurity in the World 2005. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.)

“In the developing world, more than 1.2 billion people currently live below the international poverty line, earning less than $1 per day”. (World Development Indicators 2005. The World Bank.)

That’s five corncobs a day at current Cub price folks. Maybe 20 at wholesale.

“2 million babies a year are so weak from hunger that they die when they get a bad case of diarrhea” (Source;

Here’s how ethanol is made. Note the last sentence. Corn is processed until it is “unfit for human …. consumption”.

Before I go on, I want to make a small point. Has there been any research on how to turn fossil fuels into food? (McDonalds comes close but they don’t count).

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Mark Lloyd is a working stiff in Minneapolis. He grew up in Yorkshire, England during the socialist 70's and Thatcher & Reagan's 80's and disliked both mobs. His fierce interest in politics, history and The Truth combined with the appalling start to (more...)
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