BioFuel and Food

The topic of biofuels is not always my favorite to talk about. It is complex, it is a very grey area when it comes to benefits versus drawbacks.

Yet overall as someone who supports social justice, sustainability, human rights, and cleaning up the mess we have made of the world, I welcome the era of biofuels that we seem to be at the beginning of.

Among the great points of the big debate is the issue of world hunger and the price of food. As many of you will know by now, there is a great deal of speculation and already some evidence that food prices will go up because so much food is being turned into fuel. Many critics say, this is the problem if we make the global focus bio fuels.

The initial issue I have with this argument is the idea that world hunger will worsen and that food prices will increase. It is a fact that IF the leaders of the world wanted to, there is enough food in the world to feed everyone. But when you introduce the politics and economics of food production, that food never reaches the hungry. So this is already a problem no matter what we’re using to fuel vehicles.

Then comes the issue of rising food prices, a much tougher one for me get into since I’m neither a farmer nor can I see the future in terms of prices. I do however believe that governments could cooperate to make sure prices would not get out of control. Again it requires that they WANT TO solve the problem, and based on history it is clear that ending hunger is NOT the priority of world leaders.

Of course there’s alot more to it and I hope to build on this discussion through both writing and podcasts. For now I want to recommend the latest edition of The State We’re In; specifically a conversation they have with a Brazilian farmer that, for me, is very interesting and informative.