Chapter 5 Food Inc.

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Chapter 5
In chapter five of Food Inc. writer Robert Bryce writes about the negative consequences government mandated ethanol has had and will result in. He presents information on many studies that show ethanol production causing increased food costs, while also decreasing the amount of corn available for food use. Increased air pollution, increased water consumption, and increased water pollution are also some of the negative consequences laid out of ethanol production. Ethanol has been sold to the American people by politicians as a reliable, relatively clean, sustainable source of energy to replace gasoline. This seems to be far from the truth. Even if all of America’s corn was used for food production it would still only help to replace 6% of the total amount of oil consumed by the U.S. The grain required to fill just one 25-gallon gas tank would feed a person for an entire year. While not just increasing the cost of corn for food, ethanol also decreases the supply. This also causes other food commodities such as corn, wheat, and soybeans to decrease in supply and therefore an increase in prices. In April of 2008 the World Bank reported that grain prices have risen 140% since the beginning of 2002. The largest factor of which is the increase in bio-fuel production by the U.S. and Europe. Bio-fuel mandates along with increased grain demand for meat production are a major factor in the increasing cost of food, announced the Congressional Research Service in May of 2008. Advocates for clean air have also presented evidence that the increase in the use of ethanol in gasoline actually has increased greenhouse gasses and smog in American cities. Ethanol blended gasoline may be more volatile than conventional gasoline causing the production of more hydrocarbons. It is also more likely to seek through the seals and gaskets of an engine which also releases hydrocarbons into the air. Finally, increased corn growth has led to more water being used for its...
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