As Biofuel Demand Grows, So Do Guatemala’s Hunger Pangs

“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.”

“Recent laws in the United States and Europe that mandate the increasing use of biofuel in cars have had far-flung ripple effects, economists say, as land once devoted to growing food for humans is now sometimes more profitably used for churning out vehicle fuel.

In a globalized world, the expansion of the biofuels industry has contributed to spikes in food prices and a shortage of land for food-based agriculture in poor corners of Asia, Africa and Latin America because the raw material is grown wherever it is cheapest.

Nowhere, perhaps, is that squeeze more obvious than in Guatemala, which is “getting hit from both sides of the Atlantic,” in its fields and at its markets, said Timothy Wise, a Tufts University development expert who is studying the problem globally with Actionaid, a policy group based in Washington that focuses on poverty.” [New York Times]

2 thoughts on “As Biofuel Demand Grows, So Do Guatemala’s Hunger Pangs”

  1. Does Guatemala really exist or did someone make it up? I have a writer friend who makes up countries – like Acosta Nu – heard of that one?

  2. All so that PC-minded bureaucrats and the state of CA can feel good about saving the world, or so they think!Meanwhile, the poor people in the Third World will continue to suffer without adequate energy and development of other nations.

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