Don't blame ethanol for that expensive hot dog

It’s a point that’s been made often in this space over the last couple of months, but it’s worth repeating.

While corn prices continue to plummet, food prices keep going up. And the food vs. fuel crowd is silent.

These latest numbers come from the Commerce Department: Over the last year, food prices have increased 2.2 percent.That’s the largest annual gain since June of 2012.

Meat and poultry prices are up 7.8 percent. Over the last month, the price of processed meats like hot dogs have shot up 6.9 percent.

Meanwhile, corn prices have dropped under $3 per bushel in many areas, more than 50 percent lower than their peak during the 2008 drought.

Why is the food vs. fuel crowd silent? Shouldn’t they be walking back the wild claims they have made over the last five years about how using corn to make ethanol increases what Americans pay at the grocery store?

They should, but they’re not. Maybe they’re too busy enjoying record profits.

Remember: For every 56-pound bushel of corn used to make ethanol, we get 2.8 gallons of fuel and 18 pounds of high-protein livestock feed.

American corn farmers are projected to harvest a record crop of 14 billion bushels this fall. That’s more than enough corn to keep hot dogs affordable and fuel up our vehicles with homegrown, cleaner burning and less expensive ethanol.

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