Law For Food: The law affects what you eat. What you buy to eat affects the law.

Hops shortage in favor of subsidized corn
10 December 2007, 4:58 am
Filed under: Economics of Eating, Food and Energy, Subsidies

Craft beer connoisseurs will be facing higher prices due to a hops shortage driving prices up about 400% in a single year. According to the linked article, there had been a hops glut which made it difficult for individual growers to remain profitable, and a lot of farmers shifted from growing hops to growing subsidized corn for ethanol. Astute readers will recall that corn-based ethanol yeilds one sixth of the energy required to produce the ethanol in the first place. (Which reminds me, come to think of it, of the story, probaby apocryphal, that rabbit flesh requires more energy to digest than it yeilds in digestion, giving rise to the expression, again probably apocryphal, “starving to death on rabbit”.)

I want to say things about commmodity production, the various corn subsidies, and the way markets are supposed to operate, but I’m in the middle of studying for finals, so posting will be light.


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