I wrote about the rise of in food costs a few months back. Here is the post. The UN has caught on to this problem and apparently the threat has made it to a global scale. There are different opinions as to the ultimate cause for the high food prices. Some say it is all related to the high price in energy costs and others say it is because of the ethanol based alternative energy program which is using our food crops to make gasoline. It seems to me it must be a combination of the two. The Environmental News Service has an excellent article outlining the current food situation. The article states:
The United States and the European Union have taken a “criminal path” by contributing to an explosive rise in global food prices through using food crops to produce biofuels, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food said today.
At a press conference in Geneva, Jean Ziegler of Switzerland said that fuel policies pursued by the U.S. and the EU were one of the main causes of the current worldwide food crisis.
Ziegler was speaking before a meeting in Bern, Switzerland between UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of key United Nations agencies.
Ziegler said that last year the United States used a third of its corn crop to create biofuels, while the European Union is planning to have 10 percent of its petrol supplied by biofuels.
The Special Rapporteur has called for a five-year moratorium on the production of biofuels.
The article also gives an argument taking the blame off bio-fuels.
But not everyone agrees. Toni Nuernberg, executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council based in Omaha, Nebraska, says, “I can unequivocally state that ethanol does not take food from the mouths of starving people.”
“Ethanol production uses field corn – most of which is fed to livestock with only a small percentage going into cereals and snacks. In fact, only the starch portion of the corn kernel is used to produce ethanol. The vitamins, minerals, proteins and fiber are converted to other products including sweeteners, corn oil and high-value livestock feed – feed which helps livestock producers add to the overall food supply,” said Nuernberg on Tuesday.