No More Ethanol

Food into Fuel

I’ve decided to stop putting ethanol into my gas tank.

I’ll admit the reason I’ve been buying ethanol is that it’s ten cents cheaper than regular gas. Supposedly, ethanol is cleaner-burning, but when you factor in the energy needed to produce and transport it in the first place, there’s really not much that’s clean or green about it. And the reason it’s cheaper is not that it’s inexpensive to produce–it’s that there are subsidies keeping the price artificially low.

Another factor is the worsening global food crisis. Can you imagine standing in line for hours, hoping not only to be able to afford a little flour or rice or corn, but especially hoping that there’ll be some left for you and your family?

And can you imagine how you’d feel about a country that is so rich that it takes millions of acres of food and makes it into fuel for cars instead? A place where obesity is an epidemic, and where some restaurants pour bleach on their leftovers so no one can eat them?

Nope–no more ethanol.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by juliette sanders on May 11, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    I was with you up to the part about throwing bleach on uneaten food to make it inedible. I can find nothing to support this in my experience in restaurant work nor on the internet. Many restaurants give uneaten food to programs to feed the homeless or hungry. As for those who throw bleach on their food, it’s for spoiled food or food that’s been partially eaten. And it’s purpose is to hold down spoilage and disease.
    Deliberating poisoning food while making it readily available in dumpsters (w/out posted warnings) would leave the business liabel to law suit.
    After-thought, you raise produce and sell it for profit. But I don’t find anywhere in your posts that you give any of it to feed the hungry programs.

  2. Posted by flyingtomato on May 11, 2008 at 9:45 pm


    Thanks for the comment.

    I have read on several occasions that some fast food branches will deliberately make food inedible that is past its serving time (has been under the warmers for a certain amount of time).

    The last post I read on this was from a group in New York that dumpster dives for food regularly, but it escapes me now where specifically I read it.

    It is good that many restaurants do donate uneaten food.

    As far as not having any posts on giving food to feed the hungry–I started this blog last winter. I haven’t had any harvests to donate since I started posting. And it seems a little weird to me to post a blog that says, “hey–look how I donated all this stuff!” I might post about the event, but I wouldn’t necessarily post that I donated a bunch of food to it.

    But, since you asked, when I have extra, I donate to (and have volunteered with) our local Welcome Table (weekly free community meal), and also donate to the local emergency food shelf.

    Last fall, I donated large quantities of produce and spent two days cooking for a free community dinner that our farmers market put on to thank our vendors and patrons, but that was open and advertised to everyone.

    I also volunteer my time and expertise at a local community garden that helps teach people how to grow their own food, and where plots can be had for either a very small fee $15 or small number of work hours (5).


  3. Rebeccca, ALL the work you do–profitable and nonprofitable–is and significant and worthwhile and contributes to making a better world. Keep it up!

  4. Posted by flyingtomato on May 12, 2008 at 5:59 pm



  5. Posted by juliette sanders on May 12, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    See. My point exactly. This country is full of generous people. But we don’t hear that nearly as often as the stories of greed.
    Nice to see your posts aren’t screened censored. It makes your site worth revisiting for both its candor and its great tips.

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