BYTES READERS TALK BACK:
ORGANIC BYTES READER WRITES: In Organic Bytes Issue #112
you discuss how using corn for ethanol is hurting the world’s
food supply. I thought it was worth noting that the corn mash
leftover from the ethanol production can be used for feed. It’s
actually easier for the cows to digest. I know, because I’ve been
using the stuff for years.
RESPONSE: This is a good point. As a note, due to the booming
demand of ethanol, a lot of land that could be used to grow food
crops is being converted to biotech corn production. The OCA’s
current work with U.S. political leaders includes a focus on allocating
2007 Farm Bill funding for further research and implementation
of sustainable biofuel production, such as the needed step towards
energy efficient cellulosic ethanol fuels, which utilize stocks
such as corn husks and grasses for fuel production, rather than
food sources. Of course these biofuel stocks are also needed to
produce organic compost in order to reduce the use of energy intensive
and environmentally destructive chemical fertilizers. But beyond
the development of more sustainable biofuels such as switchgrass,
the main challenge remains that we must drastically reduce our
use of greenhouse gas polluting and non-renewable fuels and replace
these fuels with solar and wind power.
Learn more: /articles/article_6483.cfm
OLDER CAR MAY BE A FLEX-FUEL CAR ALREADY
ORGANIC BYTES READER WRITES: I think your readers should
know that if they have cars that were made before 1998, they could
be using E85. The computer systems in cars made after that tend
to need adjusting to run E85, but I have a 1991 vehicle, and it
has run great on E85 for over a year now with absolutely no modifications
necessary and no problems.
RESPONSE: Yes, some older cars could run on E85 with little
need for conversion, but most cars have a need for minor conversion
(for example, making sure there is no rubber in your fuel system).
It costs car manufacturers less than $100 to make a new car E85
It can actually be a pretty easy modification. There are kits
you can purchase for this same conversion, but none have been
certified by the EPA yet. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty recently
called on the EPA to certify a kit that is being used successfully
around the world from http://flextek.com
. We’ll keep you posted.
INFO ON CORPORATE BUYOUTS OF ORGANIC COMPANIES
ORGANIC BYTES READER WRITES:I do like the spider web of
natural food acquisitions you’ve compiled. and in fact it is very
enlightening (see Issue #114 /old_articles/bytes/ob114.cfm).
Yet it’s not complete. Stonyfield is owned by Dannon, Ben &
Jerry’s is Unilever, Green & Blacks Organic Chocolate is Cadbury…
Nestle has a small stake in Divine Chocolate, and there’s more.
just as an fyi, in order to continue the web. Thanks for doing
what you do!
RESPONSE: As noted in that Organic Bytes piece, the charts
we highlighted in that issue were specifically for the Top 25
organic sellers. They were not designed to cover all companies.
For a more thorough list of "who owns what" in the organics
world go here: /old_articles/Corp/mergers.cfm
to readers: If you have questions or comments about issues
covered in Organic Bytes, like the reader above, please post them
in our Organic Bytes forum here: /old_articles/forum/index.php