Rising Food Prices: Has Ethanol Backfired?

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For 30 years, food prices have been declining worldwide, so much that, in western countries, obesity has become a major problem. But it appears that the era of cheap food has come to an end. As prices are rising all over the world, many Americans don’t have enough to eat. The latest report from the Department of Agriculture finds that almost 11% of American households experience "food insecurity" for part of the year. Thirteen million families don't have enough to eat. Food banks that serve hungry people are not getting the donations they need to do their job. The Farm Bill increases money for food stamps and other programs. Will that make up the difference? Will massive support for corn-based ethanol make things better or worse?



  • Mark Nord - Sociologist, US Department of Agriculture's Food Assistance Branch
  • Maura Daly - Vice President of Government Relations, Second Harvest
  • Joe Victor - Vice President for Marketing, Allendale
  • Eric Pica - Director of Domestic Policy Campaigns, Friend of the Earth
  • Bruce Babcock - Iowa State University


Warren Olney