Food vs. Fuel

Many critics of biofuels are quick to bring up the “Food vs. Fuel” debate. If you take land that would have been used to produce food and instead produce fuel crops, the argument is that food prices will increase and people will go hungry because of a decrease in the food supply. While this argument does have some merit concerning corn-based ethanol, this is not the case with biodiesel.

When an oilseed crop such as soybeans or canola is processed into oil, a high-protein meal cake is produced that has a very high value for livestock feed. This oil can also first be used for human consumption in restaurant fryers, and then converted into biodiesel after its use as a food product. Some crops that can be processed into biodiesel can be grown on marginal lands that would not be suitable for food crop production. For these reasons, the biodiesel industry does not compete with the food industry.