Demand for ethanol is starving Mexicans
Ethanol made from corn is likely one of the earth's most viable (read: cheaply produced) alternatives to oil. Corn can be grown in many places, after all. Last I checked, Kansas wasn't feeling particularly hostile towards President Bush.
However, people eat corn, and as corn is now in demand to make fuel...well...
Many people, including scientists and some big companies believe that we are running out of oil. What oil there is, is located mostly in very hostile environments. One possible alternative to oil is ethanol. Lately, there has been a high demand for ethanol. Even U.S. President George W. Bush said “We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol…” Ethanol is primarily made out of corn. The more demand there is for ethanol, the more expensive corn becomes. But ethanol is not the only product made out of corn. So are corn tortillas. Over the last six months, the price of corn meal for tortillas in Mexico has doubled. Most Mexicans rely on corn tortillas to keep from going hungry. Entonces: many Mexican families are now worried about going hungry because we may be running out of oil.
Voila. Couldn't have said it better. So maybe we need an alternative to this alternative? Biodiesel, anyone?
Biodiesel is typically produced by a reaction of a vegetable oil or animal fat with an alcohol such as methanol or ethanol in the presence of a catalyst to yield mono-alkyl esters and glycerin, which is removed.
Ah, crap. Sorry, Mexico.