Will It Come Down To Food Or Fuel?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Glenn Simon Inc.

 A Japanese friend I spoke to the other day was disgruntled because the price of soy sauce is increasing. It's all because we are trying to reduce consumption of fossil fuels .



Interest in using food crops (ethanol is derived from sugar beets, wheat, corn or sugarcane) to produce alternative fuel sources for cars is causing many nations to fear subsequent increases in food prices.

For example soy bean oil is heavily relied on to make biofuel - the renewable diesel fuel additive. Cooking oils and many other products prices are increasing because the price of soy beans, corn and cereals are increasing.   Milk prices increased 3% in Japan because it is more expensive to feed cows and beer will increase because the price of malt has risen.

Think tanks predict prices may even rise 80% as crops and farmland are diverted to producing biofuels. However other experts predict that with increasing technology we may only see a 5% -15% increase.


A Possible Solution....
Japan has taken steps to produce ethanol for cars out of inedible biomass like straw and chaff.

"We already have the technology to make ethanol from straw and chaff, but we've only succeeded at the laboratory level......"

"What we are trying to do is to collect straw and chaff on a relatively large scale in a local community to make biofuel and then use it for the first time for vehicles and other uses...."

"If we can use biofuels from inedible parts of crops, then markets for biofuels and markets for foods would not have to compete," Eiichiro Kitamura- official in charge of Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries innovative project


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Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


Makes me want to go buy land and farm it. I could make good money and good fuel. Who knew that we would all go back to farming one day.

Jan 25, 2008 01:07 AM #1
Judy Tuscano
Prudential Verani Realty - Nottingham, NH
NH Real Estate Professional
Todd & Danielle - I love the idea of science figuring out a way to make a fuel from waste products rather than crops we use extensively already but do you think they will since this crisis has been going on for so long with no solution yet? Perhaps a return to a time when the world was a lot bigger because of the inability to travel long distances due to lack of finances for travel will give way to the answer!
Jan 25, 2008 02:58 AM #2
Todd and Danielle Millar
Glenn Simon Inc. - Edmonton, AB
Fifteen years of excellence!

Alan - In one of the articles I read they were saying the going joke on the trading floor was to give up being a trader and go grow soy beans. So you may have competition

Judy- Me too. I think it is amazing that there are minds that can come up with these ideas and make them work. I can't imagine why it didn't happen years ago though. However, Judy as a member of the travel club I will have to strongly disagree with the last line of your comment!

Jan 25, 2008 08:33 AM #3
Jolynne Photography, Creative Wedding Photography, Family Portraits, Bar Mitzvahs
Jolynne Photography - Hemet, CA
Bat Mitzvahs, Senior Pictures, Event Photography

T&D...have you ever seen the show MythBusters? I saw one where...you may not believe this...they drove a car with a diesel engine after filling the tank with used french fry oil.

Way to green us out.

Jan 25, 2008 06:08 PM #4
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

I would love to see this happen, even here in the states we are seeing similar problems with the price of items going up because of the green agenda.

Feb 19, 2008 03:14 AM #5
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Todd and Danielle Millar

Fifteen years of excellence!
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