ethanol vs. the price of tortillas

mujers de maiz

Green is the latest trendy buzzword these days, business is working to
keep up with the new trend, capitalize on a growing and expanding new market.
With E85 ethanol grwoing closer on the horizon, corn commodity prices have
risen steeply. In many parts of latin america, many poor people are already
feeling the effects as the price of tortillas has already increased. The price
of a corn tortilla increased 14% last year. While most north americans eat
few corn based products, and corn is mainly used in animal feed products,
the poor of latin america rely on the corn tortilla as they have for centuries.

“Big retailers, mostly supermarkets, have kept tortilla prices steady at
around 55 cents a kilogram, or about 2 pounds, but in Mexico City,
some shops are selling them for 90 cents a kilogram.
For low-income Mexicans, who earn about $18 a day on average,
the increasing prices have hit hard. According to the government,
about half of the country’s 107 million citizens live in poverty.
“When there isn’t enough money to buy meat, you do without,” said
Bonifacia Ysidro as she wrapped an embroidered towel around a
foot-high stack of tortillas to cart home.”

Tortillas, she added, “you can’t do without.”


~ by judohobo on May 7, 2007.

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