Thursday, February 7, 2013

Frittering away our resources

I opened a new pack of oats this morning and what did I find --

That's right, the security band around the top of the container was made of corn.

I recalled that last year's heat and drought created the lowest corn yields in more than a decade, causing corn prices to soar, that cattle were being fed cookies and candy bars in lieu of corn.  We may be wishing for a candy bar ourselves this year, as corn prices start to spill over into higher prices for chicken, meat and other human foodstuffs.

But corn producers, a powerful economic and political bloc, have branched out into all kinds of other uses for their crop.  Let's don't even talk about the shameful requirement to convert corn into ethanol, a bad public policy that would never have occurred if Iowa's presidential caucuses were held in April.

Let's just focus on making oatmeal packaging out of corn.  I think it's a dumb idea.  A better idea: use paper for packaging and use corn for food.


  1. I remember Quaker Oats boxes that were made entirely with paper with a good old-fashioned string that zipped around the top to open it. And why did that top need an upgrade to plastic?

  2. I just loved that string... really fun to open. And the top seemed to fit just as well as time went by.