These screenshots are from a Time article on a Conference Poster on a study that evaluated the cost of nutrition sourced from fresh, dried, frozen and canned foods. You will find more information in my Google+ posts. Time article on a Conference Poster
The articles tend to imply that the maize/cassava composite can be used to make bread on its own. However, any baker knows that wheat flour is necessary to make any raised bread and that only a few percent of other starch materials can be substituted for flour if the bread is not to taste different.
What I find more interesting is that this is a government initiative – do you think that such an approach has a real chance of success?
Responding to the potential food and particularly maize supply problems, the Agriculture Minister Lulu Xingwana has refused to ban exports arguing that this would limit the market available to farmers and therefore constrain the expansion of production.
Minister Xingwana also restated South Africa’s position on maize for ethanol production
“Corn will not be used for biofuels because we believe it is the staple food, not only for SA, but also for many countries in Africa,” Xingwana said.
It would be interesting to hear how the government would react to ethanol from sorghum and millet proposals. It also raises the question of how the government’s strategic goal for biofuels to account for 2% of total fuel consumption by 2013. Will it mean that sugar, which is probably the most efficient route to fuel anyway, will have to contribute more or will soya and sunflower with their byproduct problems be able to offer cost effective production. The contribution of second generation (eg cellulosic ethanol and algal biodiesel) and later processes are not sufficiently far advanced to make a contribution in this small time scale.
Although the contradictors are already at work, I feel we should all acknowledge that very massive and rapid change is happening that could have extremely serious consequences. If we do this it should be obvious that we should be striving for full and balanced understanding, rather than just promoting our particular perceptions and interests.
Remember that behind all this sits a very distorted system of politics/governance that drives subsidies and ridiculous practices such as “splash & dash” – if that doesn’t drive particular interests?
Believe it or not 10% of the imports of biodiesel to Europe from USA are funded by a scheme where biodiesel exported to the US and blended with a “dash” of petrol attracts almost a dollar a gallon subsidy which makes the scheme profitable.