Sunday, March 14, 2010

Corn to Fuel

The thought of turning corn into ethanol fuel always troubled me. It seemed a sin to take food that people could eat and turn it into motor fuel. Maybe if no one in the world was hungry it wouldn't feel as bad. I probably would still feel a little bad about it. Now there are plenty of arguments how ethanol production doesn't yield as much energy as it takes to make it. Other's argue that it really does yield above what it takes to produce. Even if it does come out on top, it can't be by much.

The high price of corn has negatively affected me all the way up here in the tip of NH. Since most of the ethanol plants are in the grain belt, how can I be negatively affected?

My local farmer. I try and support the guy. It's tough to make a living on a farm. He used to have a very nice farm stand every summer and fall. I'd buy whatever was in season. His place was on my way home and it was easy to stop and see what looked good. Then I'd take fresh ingredients home and make dinner. In the fall, I'd stock up on potatoes and winter squash. We'd eat those until the warm weather was back.

Now this guy's main business is his dairy. The veggies were more of a side line. It was a nice diversified little farm. Then the price of corn skyrocketed. He shut down the farm stand and planted every acre he had in corn. It was the only way he could afford to feed his cows. Now the only thing you can buy directly from his farm is . . . corn. Now I like fresh corn as well as well as the next guy, but a little diversity would be nice.

We've decided to grow more of our own veggies. We also barter with people who've bigger gardens than what we have. Even put in our own potato patch, and potatoes are about the cheapest thing in the world. I've learned that if I want to be sure to have something I have to take care of it myself.


1 comment:

  1. Thing about corn is that it still cost a little more to produce the alcohol so the fuel is a tad more expensive than gasoline.