Nestle blames biofuels for skyrocketing food inflation

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: Nestle, biofuels, food inflation

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) You want to know why food prices are climbing all over the world? Well, the head of Nestle, the world's largest food manufacturer, says it's because we are increasingly burning our food for fuel.

In fact, company chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe declared recently, we have begun to rely on food-produced biofuels so much that "the time of cheap foods is over."

Brabeck-Latmathe is particularly critical of the rise in bio-diesel production because, he says, the process has put increasing pressure on food supplies by utilizing precious land and water resources that could otherwise be used to grow crops for human and animal consumption.

"If no food was used for fuel," he told the BBC in an interview, "the prices would come down again, that is very clear. We are now in a new world with a completely different level of food prices because of the direct link with fuel.

Biofuels, he maintains, are only affordable because they receive government subsidies, particularly in the United States.

"It is absolutely unacceptable and cannot be justified," Brabeck-Latmathe asserted in the interview. "There is one demand that I have, and that is not to use food for fuel."

Food, oil markets are 'calorific'

Biofuel development and use in the U.S. initially was seen as a way to reduce the country's reliance on volatile foreign oil sources and, to a degree, that policy has been successful. But at the same time, as Brabeck-Letmathe points out, the increased use of biofuels is a double-edged sword.

For instance, he maintains that politicians don't understand that the food and oil markets are the same in that they are both "calorific markets," the BBC reported.

"The only difference is that with the food market you need 2,500 calories per person per day, whereas in the energy market you need 50,000 calories per person," he said.

The Nestle chief said lawmakers and others unfamiliar with the process did not anticipate that to replace 20 percent of fossil-fuel use with biofuels, as they wanted, would require increasing crop production three-fold.

The production increases have occurred in many cases, but the excess production is being burned off. As one example, Brabeck-Letmathe said most of the world's sugar production now goes into the manufacturing of biofuels.

That's a growing problem, in part, he says, because agriculture accounts for some 70 percent of the world's water usage, making the growing of food strictly for biofuel production an incredibly inefficient use of a precious resource - at a time when the world's growing population needs more food for consumption.

"It takes about 4,600 liters (about 1,215 U.S. gallons) of water to produce one liter of pure ethane oil if it comes from sugar, and it takes 1,900 liters (501 gallons) of water if it comes from palm oil," he said.

"This is not a crisis which might arise in 100 years, it is something which is already here today," he added.

Not everyone agrees, of course.

Paul Conway, chairman of Cargill, the U.S.-based food conglomerate, also opposes mandate for biofuels. But he told the BBC other factors were driving up food costs.

"The bigger picture globally is increased urbanization, which leads to more food being consumed," said Conway.

Prior to the global financial crisis that began with the near-collapse of the U.S. banking systems and housing market in 2007-2008, hundreds of millions of people were being lifted out of poverty in the preceding decade. That phenomenon led to dramatically increased food demands as diets improved and more meat and poultry was consumed.

Not time to relax

"There has also been an explosion in biofuel use and the financialization of the agricultural markets," Conway said.

Those factors, along with a 20 percent decline in agricultural investment, has contributed to higher prices.

Food prices have dropped recently, Conway said, but those price declines won't last.

"In the last five months we lost roughly 100 million tons of crops, largely in South America and most recently in the US grain belt, which has been dealing with 100 degree temperatures," he told the BBC. "So we have seen maize prices go up 40 percent and soybean prices rise by 25 percent - so it is not a time to relax."

In the end, he added, "most of those crops are converted into other things, such as sweeteners, particularly in the U.S., or into animal feed, which later results in higher meat prices."

Conway said 60 percent of the world's unused arable land is on the African Continent.


Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.