Expensive corn

by Walter Olson on January 12, 2013

A federal energy mandate takes its toll on bystanders:

Now that the United States is using 40 percent of its crop to make biofuel, it is not surprising that tortilla prices have doubled in Guatemala, which imports nearly half of its corn.

In a country where most families must spend about two thirds of their income on food, ‘the average Guatemalan is now hungrier because of biofuel development.’ … Roughly 50 percent of the nation’s children are chronically malnourished, the fourth-highest rate in the world, according to the United Nations.

[New York Times via Bader]

{ 4 comments }

1 Scott Jacobs 01.13.13 at 3:47 am

Roughly 50 percent of the [Guatemala’s] children are chronically malnourished, the fourth-highest rate in the world, according to the United Nations.

But hey, at least we get less efficient fuel that damages our engines!

2 Bill Alexander 01.13.13 at 12:14 pm

Is this considered a bug or a feature?

3 wfjag 01.14.13 at 8:35 pm

“Is this considered a bug or a feature?”

Well, Bill, under the Affordable Care Act, if they come to the U.S., they will be entitled to free health/hospitalization insurance coverage (despite anything to the contrary told to Rep. Joe Wilson). They will probably qualify for Food Stamps (and so an ObamaPhone, too). They may qualify for Section 8 or another housing subsidy program, as well as several other of the 140 or so federal welfare programs. Additionally, in several states, their children will qualify for in-state college tuition and various financial aid programs. And, it is likely that Immigration Reform will be soon proposed that will provide a pathway to citizenship for people who entered the U.S. illegally (and their children).

Doubtless, the rapid rise in food prices in foreign countries due, in part, to the U.S. government’s diversion of corn from food to ethenol fuel production is just an unfortunate artifact of that program.

.

4 Frank 01.15.13 at 11:22 am

How would a food become traditional in a country that doesn’t raise enough to supply its population?

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