Renewable Fuels Standard Causing A Worldwide Bacon Shortage

Cooked_Bacon

Last year the Renewable Fuels Standard resulted in 40% of the national corn supply being allocated to ethanol production instead of uses like animal feed. Not only has that, along with drought conditions, contributed to rising food prices, but it is also causing a shortage of pork and bacon.

“A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable,” the National Pig Association in the UK said this week.

The droughts meant less feed to go around and farmers had to take drastic measures. One farmer fed his cows candy to survive, while others have pared their herds. The NPA warned that he number of slaughtered pigs could drop by 10 percent in the second half of next year and that could cause the price of pork products to DOUBLE.

There is actually a flood of Brazilian ethanol coming into the country (Brazilian ethanol is made from sugar instead of corn) thanks to dropped trade tariffs and the federal government’s on-going ethanol mandate creating artificial demand for the fuel. What’s frustrating, though, is just how much distortion these policies are bringing to the markets for a fuel that really doesn’t provide consumers with any benefits.

Which is why consumers don’t buy ethanol unless there are subsidies or mandates in place.

The question is, how much longer will Americans tolerate higher food prices, and food shortages, for the sake of a fuel that doesn’t really do them any good? After decades of subsidies, mandates and trade protectionism t’s time for ethanol to either sink or swim on its own.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • $8194357

    Muslim plot?
    “sarc”

    • ellinas1

      No. Bush did it.

      • $8194357

        No doubt !

        • borborygmi

          Of course he did it. He is from Texas and if you want blasphemy it is a Texan eating pork barbecue ribs. The only thing worse Cheering for da Bears as they stomp the ever loving snot out of Americas team……..Hmm metaphor.. Just like that Obama and Chicago Politics did it.

          • $8194357

            Missed the game..
            love the chops.
            Beef and pork…
            Mmmm gooood..

    • borborygmi

      Jewish

      • $8194357

        MMMM could be…
        hee…heee..

  • borborygmi

    Ethanol isn’t going away. Can you buy gas without ethanol in? Not at the pumps I visit. They have to keep doing research into cellulosic ethanol or algae ethanol. It is a twofer corn producers getting paid well, and people eating bacon will cut back to something healthier. By some provolone and fry it up…not bad.
    Of course if it wasn’t for ethanol how many would be growing corn and as a % the drought would still cause havoc.

    • robert108

      It’s a bad fuel. No subsidies are merited.

    • $8194357

      Blasphomer…
      Cut back on bacon?
      Never !..
      of course just like gas…
      $10 a gallon/$10 a pound?
      But for our own good of course..

      • borborygmi

        My son makes his own at home, simple, delicious and no I won’t cut back on bacon. One of the primary food groups.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      It would go away if we dropped the subsidies and mandates.

      • borborygmi

        Less corn would be planted, you are correct. Why do you hate corn farmers? This isn’t about bacon or food supply. It is about you not liking subsidies plain and simple. Less demand on corn less planted, drought hits less corn harvested , food crop for hogs, either find an alternative for the hogs or pay more for your pork. ALot of items are made from corn either food items or additives or plastics. Which of these would you like cut back. They don’t go to feeding hogs either?

      • ptschett

        Ethanol subsidies ended last year with the trade tariffs.

        Even without the RFS mandate, there would still be some incentive for refiners to use ethanol as long as the EPA allows it. A 10% blend of ethanol can bring the octane rating of the blend up by a couple of points, so refiners can use lower-octane gasoline in the blend and still have the octane rating come out OK. Also ethanol tends to be cheaper than gasoline so it saves the refiners some $$ to blend as much as they can.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Not all the subsidies were ended. And is ethanol is so great, then let’s stop the mandates and see if consumers use it voluntarily.

  • borborygmi

    Forewarning not for everyone…..over the top……warped….A story about some poor farmer went out to slop his hogs (some close to 700 lbs) He didn’t come back , all they found were his dentures and a few pcs. Problem solved, President Obamas “Death Panels’ kill more older folks, well…..you can figure out the rest……”well boys it looks like bacon is back on the table”……..Happy dance proceeds.

    • $8194357

      Don’t mess with my pork, gurgle …
      hee…hee..

      • borborygmi

        mmmmm nice big Iowa chop on the grill. mmmmmmmm

  • robert108

    Actually, the current news is that there will be no bacon or pork shortage in the US, but that doesn’t change the basic insanity of turning food into fuel, especially a fuel so flawed as ethanol. The ethanol molecule has about half the energy of the gasoline molecule, blending it with gasoline results in lower highway mileage due to the power deficit. It’s just more left wing/enviro politics. They won’t be happy with anything less than a return to Stone Age technology.

  • splined

    Approx. 1000 starving piglets had to be put down in Austin, Manitoba this summer due to farmer not being able to afford feed. Sure is sad how liberals are so fixated on forcing the poor to pay more for basic food needs.

  • SigFan

    Never mess with a man’s wife, his dog, or his bacon!

    I wonder when the black market pork bellies are going to start showing up?

  • Lynn Bergman

    Is this article an attempt to prove that if one states mistruths over and over…eventually people may begin to believe them?
    It’s the drought…not ethanol. And the benefits of ethanol are proven. All it requires to become educated is to vist an ethanol truth telling website

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      And the benefits of ethanol are proven.

      Right. Ethanol is so great the government has to force people to use it.

      All it requires to become educated is to vist an ethanol truth telling website

      Would those be the ones created by the Corn Grower’s Association?

    • splined

      The math is actually very easy. More acres planted for corn ethanol, the less acres planted to other crops. The less acres planted to these other crops, the higher the prices for these other crops.

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