Food vs. Biofuel

TitleFood vs. Biofuel
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsChristianson, L, Crosignani, K, Gumm, A, Himmelsbach, J, Rasmussen, B, Stanford, M, Thompson, D
Corporate AuthorsIowa Sta te University,
Pagination22 p.
Date Published2008
PublisherIowa State University
Publication LanguageEnglish
AbstractAvailability of adequate and affordable energy is one of the basic requirements for sustaining wellbeing and functionality of a society. Surging oil prices over the last 5 years, and record levels of oil consumption have encouraged research in alternative, sustainable fuels sources. The resulting emerging biofuels market created significant demand for agricultural commodities such as sugar, corn, soybean, cassava, oilseeds and palm oil. Some believe that increased demand for these commodities may be a leading factor behind the increase in food prices in the Unites States and worldwide. Food prices have increased by approximately 6% in the United States, and significantly more throughout the world. Food supply and market situation differs from country to country but projections suggest that food prices will remain high in the next few years and some contribute this increase to the use of commodity crops for biofuels. This conflicting interest has created controversy in the area of biofuels production. Activity: The United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry is holding a hearing on Food and Fuel Production in hopes of educating it members for an upcoming vote on policy involving the continued funding of biofuels. The Renewable Fuels Association, International Food Research Institute, United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, and a group of researchers in the biofuels area are invited to speak in support or opposition of continued funding for biofuels research. At the conclusion of the presentations from each group, the senators will vote either 'yes' or 'no' for continued funding of biofuels research.
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