The article focuses on the use of certain crops as fuel, a growing practice around the world, especially in developing countries.
Agro-fuels are created from agricultural products such as corn, sugar, palm oil, canola and soy. They are usually grown in large-scale monocultures that depend on chemical fertilizers, cause deforestation, pollute water and damage biodiversity.
As demand for agro-fuels increases, so does the price of food because farmers devote more of their land to growing agro-fuel crops. In Mexico, for example, the price of corn went up by 70 percent in six months during 2006-07. Mexican corn was being sold for ethanol use in the United States.
The information for the story came from a conference in Edmonton with speakers from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, the Canadian counterpart to the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Relief Services.