Increased corn production for ethanol is hazardous to marine life because of nitrogen pollution in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers.

A planned increase in US ethanol production from corn would spell environmental “disaster” for marine species in the Gulf of Mexico, said a co-author of a science study published Monday.

A boost in corn production will worsen the Gulf’s so-called “dead zone,” an area with so little oxygen that sealife suffocates, said Simon Donner, a geographer at the University of British Columbia in Western Canada.

As everyone knows I am all for alternative energy unfortunately ethanol is not carbon neutral or sustainable relying heavily on oil based fertilizers. Further, the land required to produce ethanol cuts drastically into land required to grow food. Food shortages are already leading to increased demands on farmers.

Wheat prices have doubled in the past six months. Corn is on a tear. Barley, sunflower seeds, canola and soybeans are all up sharply.

“For once, there’s great reason to be optimistic,” Miller said.

But the prices that have renewed Miller’s faith in farming are causing pain far and wide. A tailor in Lagos named Abel Ojuku said recently that he had been forced to cut back on the bread that he and his family love.

“If you wanted to buy three loaves, now you buy one,” Ojuku said.

Locally, a bakery I know had to purchase 6,000 lbs of flour to keep his price below $30 sack or he would have been paying $60 and would not have been able to stay in business. We simply cannot grow food and ethanol we have to convert to electric vehicles and alter our consumption patterns.