Fuel Independence vs. Food Independence

By: Chace Murphy Email
By: Chace Murphy Email

“We, in this country, the United States of America, enjoy the safest food supply in the world, and that’s no accident. That is borne after decades of a food safety system in this country that is second to none.”

Agriculture is now growing fuel. There’s discussion of whether we may be on the road to trading food independence for fuel independence.

“I think we all agree that we need to become energy independent from countries, especially in the middle east, where there’s a lot of political upheaval and strife, and situations that really put us in danger of not having that fuel supply be there when we need it, or for the price to be higher than we can afford.”

Dr. Elsa Murano, Vice Chancellor and Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences for Texas A&M, says agriculture can meet both demands.

“What we need to do is find and develop crops that are specifically targeted for bio-energy, not to use crops that we use for food or for feed, which is really what we have been doing in the last few years, to use corn for example for ethanol production.”

Researchers believe the ultimate bio fuel solution will be found using several crops.

“Right here in Aggieland we’re developing varieties of sorghum that really are dedicated for bio-energy; and we do it because we’re developing crops that make sense for Texas, that make sense for this region of the country. Maybe in other parts of the country, there’s other crops that make more sense for them.”

The cornerstone of our nation’s food safety system has been our ability to produce our own food supply.

“Not only do we need to become energy independent, but we need to continue to be food independent, because we as a nation are the bread basket of the world, and we need to continue that so we can be as prosperous as we always have been.”

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