A Corny Situation

Is corn ethanol going to save us from an oil crisis? Are corn-based sweeteners causing an obesity epidemic? Are farm subsidies bad for our economy? In one way or another, it seems corn is a hot topic lately, and in a speech on energy efficiency in April, President Bush gave his two cents: “You just got to recognize there are limits on how much corn can be used for ethanol. After all, we’ve got to eat some.” And so we wondered—what are we doing with all of our corn? The U.S. produces 12 billion bushels of each year, after all. Less than one percent of it is consumed directly (i.e., it still looks like corn when you eat it), but a quarter of the products in an average American supermarket contain corn in some form. How much does that leave for ethanol? And what about animal feed? Above is the kernel-bykernel-breakdown.

Issue 25

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