That’s the choice being forced on Americans by the push for “clean” fuel for our cars, even as the Left and the Progressive-Democratic Party push for elimination of gasoline-burning cars. Dave Loos, Illinois Corn Growers Association’s Director of Biofuels and Research, actually is proud of that diversion of food to fuel.
Illinois has 13 ethanol plants that can produce 1.6 to 1.7 billion gallons of ethanol annually.
A bushel of corn produces 2.8 gallons of ethanol. That’s roughly 590 million bushels of corn diverted from food in Illinois alone. Illinois corn farmers produced 2.13 billion bushels of corn in 2019. The equivalent (because it’s not only Illinois corn in those plants) of more than 27% of Illinois’ corn production is diverted away from food production in Illinois’ plants.
Food or fuel? Food—corn—diverted from Americans’ tables and from ranchers’ animal feed (and so diversion of meat from Americans’ tables) is being sacrificed to produce ethanol for vehicles that are intended to not exist in any great number in a few short years.
And this doesn’t address the environmental and economic damage done by the Renewable Fuel Standard—the Federal government’s ethanol mandate. From Environmental outcomes of the US Renewable Fuel Standard, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last winter:
[T]he RFS increased corn prices by 30% and the prices of other crops by 20%, which, in turn, expanded US corn cultivation by 2.8 Mha (8.7%) and total cropland by 2.1 Mha (2.4%) in the years following policy enactment (2008 to 2016). These changes increased annual nationwide fertilizer use by 3 to 8%, increased water quality degradants by 3 to 5%, and caused enough domestic land use change emissions such that the carbon intensity of corn ethanol produced under the RFS is no less than gasoline and likely at least 24% higher.
That’s an example of the irrationality of Left and of their politicians.