Corn a scapegoat for high food prices


MARION, Ohio – Farmers across the country have seen the stories on the big networks and on local television stations: food prices are rising and corn is the culprit.
“Only pennies worth of corn goes into a box of cereal,” said Ohio Corn Growers Association Executive Director Dwayne Siekman.
“But the cost of a box of corn flakes is high because of marketing and transportation costs. Same with a bag of corn chips.”
Impact. While corn prices are up about 33 percent from where they were a year ago, the impact of that price rise is a much smaller part of food cost increases than being reported, according to a study released by the Renewable Fuels Association.
“Plain and simple, corn prices are not the sole reason, or even the major reason for higher prices in the grocery aisle today,” said Bob Dineen, Renewable Fuels Association CEO.
In fact, the study noted that the boost in corn prices could have had no more than a 0.3 percent increase in food prices while a similar increase in energy costs accounts for 0.6 percent to 0.9 percent of the rising cost of food – or more than twice the impact.
“Corn is part of a portion of food products,” Urbanchuk pointed out.
Small part. “And it is only a small part of those foods where it is included. A large portion of food price increases come from foods that don’t contain corn including fish, fruits and vegetables.”
Dineen said there’s a concerted effort by the oil industry to fight off ethanol industry growth in a public relations battle that brings livestock and poultry people out against ethanol.


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