Sunday, September 30, 2007

Corn Ethanol: The Great Boondoggle


The auto fuel known as corn-ethanol has been getting lot of press lately so it seemed like a good time as any to open up the main site's ethanol page for comments. The above pic is an abscessed liver of a cow. Their natural diet is supposed to be grass (cellulose). Corn animal feed, a byproduct of the government subsidized corn-ethanol industry, is mostly ground up corn cobs and is high in starch. The cows liver can't handle high levels of the unnatural diet so farmers will often have to use lots of antibiotics just to keep the cows alive. The result is a much lower quality beef than what comes from grass fed cows. When it comes to carbon dioxide and even energy economics many claim ethanol is a loser as well. To understand why the Nobel Laureate Steven Chu says "it would be better if we just burnt oil" please make the jump to our main website.

16 comments:

Dapple said...

Actually, since ethanol is distilled from the starch, distiller byproducts are lower in starch than the corn they are made from. One of the benefits of feeding distillers byproducts is that is reduces the incidence of abscessed livers.

Anonymous said...

I find it disgusting that the US government will put the health of the people, animals and the environment over the prospect of turning America in to the new corn based middle east, will we do anything for money?
What a bleak future...it deeply saddens me that the public is so brainwashed by ethanol produces, which are just subdivisions of the same old oil companies...Luv 2 all
Hoffman

frflyer said...

A few comments.
While I agree with the article, I think you should change the header of the article page and eliminate reference to hippies.
Former hippies are amoung your supporters and amoung the first environmentalists in recent decades. I don't think they are generally ethanol proponents.

I like what Metabolix is doing with bioplastics. This seems like a better use of plant matter than biofuel. They have actually grown switchgrass, with plastic already in the leaves and stems, WITHOUT genetically modifying the plants.
The only thing genetically modified is the bacteria that digests sugar and starch to make PHA bioplastics. And they say they can make biofuel feedstock with the remains after plastic production. Plastics use up 5-10% of our oil and are a huge pollution problem. PHA bioplastics are actually compostable, without any special treatment or special treatment plants. They will biodegrade anywhere, including in the sea.

Alli said...

Great article.

We definitly do not hear enough about these issues with biofuel in the media.

I am only somewhat knowledgable about b/c my spouse is an environmental consultant!

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