Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Food Not Biofuel

It's counterintuitive, but growing crops as an alternative source of fuel is not always a good thing. Thanks to Stuffed and Starved for this Mail & Guardian article, which tells the story of Ethiopians who traded subsistence farming for growing castor seeds for biofuel.

With subsistence farming, when the market's bad you can at least still eat your crop. With biofuel, you have to turn to relief aid from, surprise, the company that convinced you to grow the stuff in the first place.

One local was quoted saying:

"It is unbelievable. Castor plots have so rapidly expanded that they are even depriving us of space for graveyards."

The CEO of the company that got the farmers to make the switch dismissed the statement, but since he hasn't paid any of them yet, I think that disqualifies him as a reliable source.

Read on:

http://stuffedandstarved.org/drupal/node/432

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