Gwynne Dyer: Biofuel mania ends days of cheap food

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It's not just me, or crazy USians.. Seems some folks in New Zealand think the same. Keep expanding those gardens.
Charlie
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Full article at:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/466/story.cfm?c_idF6&objectid 450519&pnum=0
excerpt:
The era of cheap food is over. The price of maize has doubled in a year, and wheat futures are at their highest in a decade. The food price index in India has risen 11 per cent in one year, and in Mexico in January there were riots after the price of corn flour - used in making the staple food of the poor, tortillas - went up fourfold.
Even in the developed countries food prices are going up, and they are not going to come down again. Cheap food lasted for only 50 years.
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Perhaps worth a look.
http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_environment/feed /
Bill
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William Wagner wrote:

hey,
thanks for that link, checked them out and signed up........
rae
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Charlie wrote:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/466/story.cfm?c_idF6&objectid 450519&pnum=0
funny.............the market price of corn has gone down, but the local price of soybeans has sky-rocketed to 9.06 a bushel. Local farmers have been hauling beans like crazy the last couple of days.
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On Tue, 17 Jul 2007 16:48:15 -0500, Charlie wrote:

Whoa, podner...the price of corn/maize has zoomed because of the misbegotten "plan" to grow corn for biofuel. Totally ridiculous, when an ancient plant like hemp that can grow on the worst ground and reseeds itself, would do the same only much cheaper. Hemp has been used since antiquity for everything from sails to clothing to oil to...endless socially important applications.
The US is the only Puritanical country that bows to the hysteria of the uninformed about hemp's cousin, marijuana. Just try getting high on hemp; you'll collapse from exhaustion first.
Of course the result has been to send corn prices sky high in places like Mexico, where it is the staple food in the form of tortillas.
But the U.S. corn-producing states, their lobbiespaying off Congress big-time, are laughing all the way to the bank.
Tfui!
Persephone
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<Persephone> wrote in message

dumb, plain dumb! Is your president thick? This issues suggests so. FFS, it boggles the imagination. Bush wants to wean the US off foreign oil so he instead starts refining biofuels from corn. Nowt wrong with bio-fuels, using good food crop to do it is dumb. In his actions he sets off a mini commodity boom. Maybe concentrate on energy efficiency and lower reliance on overseas oil that way?
Interestingly here in NZ, where we get Dyers column syndicated in my local newspaper, our dairy famers are experience a boom in prices. Several factors to that, one I understand is the increased price of corn & wheat that is being diverted to make fuel. Our milk production costs are not necessarily rising as a result, much of the production is pastoral with cows 365 grazing paddocks. Our farmers are certainly benefitting from the high prices mind. Pork & chicken farmers & beer brewers are a little pissed though as prices of wheat go up. We grow a % of our own needs & import some from Australia. With wheat been sucked up for bio-fuels the price goes up & so does demand. It is also likely more farms will be converted to dairy, given the high milk prices, & some of the existing wheat production will be siphoned off for supplementary feed for cows.
rob
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Is that a rhetorical question? ;-)

And make loads of money for his cohorts.

Pasture-ize the cows. Do they really need grain?
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In article

So feed lots only.
Personally, I prefer range fed beef to silage fed!
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wrote:

do you need to ask :-))

probably not, though I am not an expert on this matter, it is likely to be a feed supplement to maintain peak production. That said, there will be occasions such as droughts, floods & snow dumps when grass is in short supply and grains may fill the gap. Kiwi farmers are good at making hay, sileage, using green fodder crops etc for the leaner months.
rob
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<winks>
\> >

I'd use hay in preference to grains. Too much chance for bloat imho. I lost a goat to that once, and she was regularly provided with a "bloat block" salt lick.
I probably could have saved her if I'd gotten home in time, but she was dead when I got there. ;-(
Avoid Alfalfa hay tho'.
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wrote:

That is one of the more charitable descriptions that I have heard! ;-)
FB Charlie
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<snicker>
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On Wed, 18 Jul 2007 09:25:45 -0500, Charlie wrote:

He's uncultured, uneducated, and ignorant, but far from "thick", he's plenty shrewd.
He gets to play president with a host of expensive perks, while his puppet-masters run the country for the benefit of Big (unethical) Corporations.
He is uninterested that he has blood on his hands of our soldiers and their innocent civilians. Remember, this is the sorry excuse for a human being who -- when a woman about to be executed in Texas* begged for her life -- he mimicked her in a high-pitched woman's voice "Oh, please don't kill me!"
For that alone, he should go to hell,provided there is such a place.
And George Bush, despite his Bible-thumping, is no Christian. Christians are not supposed to lie, steal, cheat and kill. He has done all of the above, whether directly or by proxy.
This is just another ex-drunk who found Jesus. Plenty of them around, but they don't have the power to invade another country on the basis of lies, wreck that country, unleash a civil-religious war, then blame *them* for not becoming a model democracy -- while his reckless, uninformed and incompetent campaign fosters terrorism and kills and maims our soldiers and their civilians.
As to his public utterances, he reads what they write for him**. Check out Jon Stewart some time, when they assemble clips of speeches he makes all using the same "talking points" devised by a very expensive team of PR consultants. Grouped together, they are sinisterly laughable. But Joe/Jane Beercan Voter, dead from the neck up, can still be impressed and/or frightened, by these carefully devised sound bites.
*You probably have the obscene stats on Texas executions. Do you have the stats on how long Bush took to "review" each death sentence?
** Check out the difference when he doesn't have a teleprompter with remarks prepared by his staff, but must answer questions cold.
Persephone (who remembers another America)
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wrote:

http://www.aolwatch.org/bushold.shtml
Bill
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On Wed, 18 Jul 2007 19:57:40 -0400, William Wagner

I don't know, Bill. I am not 100% certain we'll see elections next year.
Charlie
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Charlie expounded:

Oh, come on, Charlie, why wouldn't we?
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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I fear that those in power are seeing Control Of and Belief in the Oft Repeated Lie, slip away from them. I believe they are capable of great evil. Great evil has been done already in the last few years, and even so, their vision has not been realized. I am not saying I necessarily expect this, I am saying that an extreme event, which caused the suspension of elections, would not shock me. I believe that "they" will do *anything* to hold on to power and their idealogical dreams.
I am not hopeful even *with* elections.
Care Charlie
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wrote:

It's worked well for many throughout history, eh?
Not so well for the vast majority, though.
Charlie
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wrote:

I thought you were in bed.
Yer gonna get yerself in trouble again, Bucketmouth.
BTW......interesting day. Talked to one of "my boys", home on leave from Afghanistan and had a long interesting chat with "my sweet corn guy", an old effer who served in Viet Nam. They ain't real happy.
Charlie
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In article

Also if interested.
Killing Hope
U.S. Military and CIA intervention Since World War II
By William Blum
ISBN 1-56751-052-3 " "Far and away the best book on the topic." --Noam Chomsky
Bill
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