|Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report|
Russell Turner writes "The Conservative View"
By Russell Turner
Posted: October 1, 2012
STILWELL, Okla. -- We Americans have a bad habit of taking things for granted. One of the biggest subjects, is that of having an abundant and endless supply of food. When you stroll down the aisle of your local supermarket it is amazing what a huge selection of food is at our fingertips. I have read stories about people coming to our country, and the first thing that they want to see is an American supermarket. Most people in our country have little understanding of how agriculture works and the factors that allow us to have the selection of food that we enjoy. Recently I read a story that stated in 2013 our country and the rest of the world will experience a shortage of pork.
While there are many factors that can influence the availability of any food product, this year’s extended drought is one factor, but a bigger factor is the use of corn to make ethanol in our gasoline products. Over the past several years our government has been subsidizing the production of ethanol because it is supposed to cause less air pollution than regular gasoline. While that claim may or may not be true, the production of ethanol has caused a huge shortage of livestock feed.
One of the main ingredients in most livestock feed is corn. The drought in America has affected 90% of the continental United States. Due to the increased cost of livestock feed, many producers are forced to sell their animals. While most of them will go to slaughter, and in turn will cause prices for a short period of time to go down in the supermarket, when that glut is gone supply will fall and prices will rise. The shortages could double the price per pound for pork by next summer.
Ethanol has never fulfilled the promises that its proponents have claimed. If it is such a good thing why does the government still provide subsidies for companies to produce it? I have the belief that if something is economically feasible the private sector will sell it and produce a profit. Our country has had its experiment with gasohol, and because of it we are about to experience a huge jump in the cost of food that all of us must have. We have many better options than ethanol. Over the past several years technology has increased that will allow our nation to be self sufficient for our gasoline needs if our government will start allowing drilling on public lands. The availability of natural gas could supply our energy needs for several centuries to come. I am afraid that many Americans are about to get a first hand education in agriculture and its cost because of the government’s bold experiment with ethanol.
Copyright 2012 Russell Turner