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U.S. needs corn for food more than for fuel

Yesterday, the Orange County Register posted an opinion-editorial of mine regarding the impact of government-mandated ethanol production. The result of this mandate is an increase in feed corn prices, which drives an increase in protein prices, which drives an increase in food prices. We can all feel it. Grocery and restaurant bills for all Americans continue to rise.

In the article, I write that

While there’s never a good time for food costs to rise, this is a particularly bad time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture annually measures the percentage of households that experience ‘food insecurity,’ meaning that their access to adequate food for active, healthy living is limited by lack of money and other resources. Since 2008, food insecurity has been at elevated levels. Part of the problem is that we’re using a meaningful portion of our food supply for fuel. The United States is the world’s largest corn producer and corn is our primary feed grain. It’s also the primary component in the production of ethanol for fuel. These competing uses have set off a multibillion dollar chain reaction, unnecessarily increasing food costs.

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