I don't care for the ethanol in fuel, but it is tough to claim that was removed from the food chain. More corn is grown because of the ethanol demand and much of it first is processed for cattle feed (DDG) and the remainder used for fuel.
There definately is an impact on the food chain costs.
More and more farmers are plowing under their crops, including alfalfa, which has MULTIPLE cuttings every year in favor of corn for Ethanol.
Such alfalfa is fed to dairy cows, hence it impacts all dairy products. Some alfalfa is fed to beef cows & sheep also.
It is just nuts to burn our food scources and use land for other than food production, IMO.
You don’t have to process corn to be able to feed it to cows. If is a high calorie cattle feed as grown.
All the processing does is remove calories, which are turned into ethanol. The remaining cattle feed, which did not need processing in the first place is lower in calories.
Corn prices in my part of the world have gone from $2.65 for 50 pounds of corn prior to ethanol in gasoline to $10.20 now. That increase is much more than the increase in energy costs over the same time period.
Food costs are only about 15% of disposable income in the US, but may be 40-50% of disposable income in other parts of the world.
When corn prices increase, because it is used to make ethanol, someone somewhere cannot no longer afford food.
And no, I don’t mean that people eat hard corn, just that many of the calories in that hard corn are being burned in our cars.
Do the calculations yourself. Average fleet mileage is about 20 miles per gallon. Annual average mileage is about 12,000 miles. That means each car is burning about 60 gallons of ethanol per year. Look up the caloric content of ethanol and see how many calories were burned in that car.