Recent media coverage has tried to put the blame for rising food prices squarely on the surge in corn usage for ethanol production. But new research from economist John Urbanchuk of LECG, LLC, shows that rising energy prices have had at least twice the impact on the Consumer Price Index as higher corn prices.
“Critics of ethanol are stirring controversy where none exists,” says Brian Jennings, executive vice president of the American Ethanol Coalition. “Higher food prices have more to do with $3.50/gal. fuel than with $3.50/bu. corn. While corn prices might add $10/year to a person's grocery bill, sky-rocketing gasoline prices are taking an additional $10/week out of people's grocery bill.”