Battling the myths and misinformation that swirl around both ethanol and biodiesel seems to be a fulltime job these days. While some groups, such as the American Soybean Association and the Renewable Fuels Association, fight these battles daily, they could use a little help from the novices and those interested in the success of biofuels. That’s why the ASA is giving them the tools to beat back those naysayers against the green fuels.
The ASA has created the document called “Myths and Realities Behind Rising Food Prices“:
Anyone who buys groceries or eats in a restaurant knows that food prices have increased, but few people truly understand the global factors that are driving the present situation…
All things considered, the demand for biofuels has played a relatively small role in rising food prices. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, the primary reasons underlying the escalation in food prices are an explosion in energy costs driven largely by the price of petroleum, the surging demand for food and livestock feed from a growing and increasingly prosperous middle class in countries like China and India, drought and other weather patterns that reduced yields in numerous regions of the world, the declining value of the U.S. dollar, and export restrictions imposed by some countries.
Higher energy prices have greatly added to the costs of transporting, processing, manufacturing, storing and distributing the food we eat. Higher energy prices also have dramatically increased the prices U.S. farmers are paying for the inputs they need to plant, grow and harvest their crops. Compared to just two years ago, farmers today are paying twice as much for the diesel fuel they need to run their tractors, combines and grain trucks. Fertilizer, which requires a great deal of energy to produce, has quadrupled in price.
The fact sheet goes on to point out how, worldwide, ethanol and biodiesel have cut the amount of non-renewable petroleum crude oil by a million barrels a day… saving the world $43 billion in savings each year.
My suggestion is to print out the fact sheet and have it ready the next time some loud-mouthed, Big-Oil backer starts bashing biofuels. Then, you can bash back with FACTS!