Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
If you haven’t noticed, it’s getting more expensive to eat.
Nationally, the prices for meats, poultry and fish combined at grocery stores went up 7.2 percent from February 2010 to February 2011. That’s according to the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
One of the reasons for the price hike is critical.
The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation reports, “Higher meat prices can be linked to the rise in global prices for corn, soybeans, wheat and other commodities over the past year. Higher corn and soybean prices mean greater input costs for farmers who raise cattle and hogs. Higher feed and energy costs have resulted in relatively fewer cattle and hogs on
Why are corn prices so high? Because demand is greater. Why is demand greater? Because supply has diminished. Why is supply down? Because more and more, we’re turning corn, not into food, but into gasoline. As a result, people go hungry.
I would chuckle if this wasn’t so serious. Here’s why. We need to turn back the clock.
In not one but two columns she wrote in February 2007, state Senator Mary Lazich warned about the inherent crisis of shoving too much corn down our gas tanks.
"Excitement over ethanol, a renewable fuel made with corn, has reached such a high level that there has been a virtual rush on corn. The effects have been devastating, especially in
Exorbitant tortilla costs created by the buzz about ethanol have left few alternatives in
There are many concerns about ethanol, its effect on world hunger being the latest. Because corn is used to produce ethanol, it requires so much water, energy and land to produce, making its benefits highly questionable. Evidence suggests that ethanol costs more, harms the environment, and reduces gas mileage. Ethanol has been known to wreak havoc on small engines, and now it is likely to wreak havoc on the food supply."
Despite similar alarms from U.S. News & World Report, the Wall Street Journal, the Earth Policy Institute, Consumer Reports, Edwin Black the author of Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives, and University of Minnesota researchers, when Steve Walters of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel read what Senator Lazich was saying, he had to raise his eyebrows.
Walters, and you can just sense his skepticism, wrote, “Who knew that
Now we move to April of 2008. Yours truly opened Culinary no-no #52 this way:
A woman dries mud cookies in the sun on the the roof of
Rising prices and food shortages are threatening
Men are forced into a police truck after being detained for allegedly looting near the presidential palace in
Fast forward to a few days ago.
The magnaimous New York Times had this blaring headline that proclaimed quite a mouthful:
Rush to Use Crops as Fuel Raises Food Prices and Hunger Fears
The New York Times.
Not a conservative paper.
Some startling information was revealed:
· Last year, 98 percent of cassava chips exported from Thailand, the world’s largest cassava exporter, went to just one place and almost all for one purpose: to
· This year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported that its index of food prices was the highest in its more than 20 years of existence. Prices rose 15 percent from October to January alone, potentially “throwing an additional 44 million people in low- and middle-income countries into poverty,” the World Bank said.
· During the second half of 2010, the price of corn rose steeply — 73 percent in the United States — an increase that the United Nations World Food Program attributed in part to the greater use of American corn for bioethanol.
The ethanol madness is nowhere near ending. The Times reports that here in the
· In the
People like Hans Timmer are speaking. He’s the director of the Development Prospects Group of the World Bank.
“The policy really has to be food first.”
But not enough are listening.
At least in
(Insert aforementioned chuckle here).
It took the NY Times years, but they’ve finally figured it out.
And Steve Walters who scoffed at Mary Lazich in 2007 needs to do a follow –up.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUS