ROME ? Rome’s obsession with food goes beyond the pizzerias and the trattorias that make it a gastronomical wonder. Appropriately, the city is also home to three United Nations food agencies whose job, ultimately, is to keep the undernourished fed. They wonder whether biofuel is an item that should be struck from the planet’s menu.
Biofuel is any fuel made from plants. Corn from Canada, sugar cane from Brazil and jatropha from India can be used to make fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. As oil prices climb, more and more agricultural land is being devoted to fuel crops, not food crops. Less food translates into higher food prices and perhaps more hunger. Fill your tank with ethanol and you might contribute to famine in Africa. As if you didn’t feel guilty enough owning an SUV.
No one is suggesting – yet – that biofuel production is leading to starvation. But biofuel is suddenly a big business and demanding the attention of farmers everywhere.
reportonbusiness.com: What good is green if the poor go hungry?