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An increased use of food crops and farm land for biofuel production is already pushing up the prices of certain foods, and they’re expected to keep rising. How much? According to the International Food Policy Research Institute [via AFP] food prices could rise by some 40 […]

An increased use of food crops and farm land for biofuel production is already pushing up the prices of certain foods, and they’re expected to keep rising. How much? According to the International Food Policy Research Institute [via AFP] food prices could rise by some 40 to 80 percent if the efficiency of current biofuel production isn’t improved upon.

Holy sticker shock. Joachim von Braun, director-general of the International Food Policy Research Institute, told a group of reporters that governments need to invest in increasing the efficiency of biofuel production or else global food prices will soar. But Von Braun also said that the food price boost could be kept within a range of five to 15 percent if research and development can lead to crop yield improvements.

Whether its government funding or venture funds, there’s no small number of startups raising money to attempt to increase the efficiency of biofuels. Gevo and LS9 are just two that have recently raised money.

  1. [...] to soaring tortilla prices, which in turn is due to increased farm land being used for biofuels. A piece in earth2tech notes that food prices could rise by anything between 40 and 80%, unless crop efficiency is [...]

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  2. Get your facts straight and understand what is big and what is small: Oil prices are driving everything, ie the diesel for the tractor and the hydrocarbons used for the fertilizer. That is driving up the prices not the use of corn for fuel. In fact, the US is importing more $value oil than the entire agricultural production of the US is worth – and corn is only a subset of it and they have 7 year pattern of rising and falling. In fact, this corn harvest is going to be big, so where are the prices going to go next? And what would happen to the ethanol producer if the corn prices would be high? Just use common sense…

    Another testament to the gushing but uninformed and unintelligent public jumping at every urban myth and every conspiracy theory thrown in front of it. Like the old Rome: bread and circus and rumors… Lovin’ it.

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  3. Dr. No, the ethanol food vs fuel argument is definitely up for debate. I’ll ask the International Food Policy Research Institute if they are considering oil prices in that estimate.

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  4. If that was the case, Dr. No, the corn prices would have gone up years ago. The truth is, we’ll be burning in our cars what others could have eaten, but couldn’t afford.

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