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The Rest of the Story....

The Rest of the Story....
by Ronald H. Miller

As a young boy growing up in mid-century Kansas I remember Paul Harvey on the radio with "The Rest of the Story...". When it comes to renewable ethanol and the "food vs. fuel" debate it is time for "the rest of the story".

USA Today, no fan of ethanol, noted in its March 18 article, "Hunger, despair for millions" that "The farm value of food - what goes to the farmer - is about 19% of the cost in the U.S., according to the U.S Department of Agriculture. The rest goes to labor, packaging, transportation, energy and corporate profits." USA Today goes on to take a swipe at corn demand for ethanol causing higher farm prices but clearly by their own admission 81% of the cost of food comes from beyond the farm. Given the great recession, labor costs have barely nudged but packaging and transportation costs are functions of energy costs. The average cost of crude oil in 2009 was $53.48 per ba…