We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
What happens to future corn and vegetable oil prices, and therefore to the entire structure of food prices, is dependent primarily on the price of oil and on whether the new biofuel mandates for ethanol in the United States and biodiesel in Europe are imposed or rescinded.
The price of oil, in particular, is a fundamental factor in the overall equation. In a world of $50-per-barrel oil, growth in biofuels would have been more limited, with a much smaller spillover onto food prices. But the links that have emerged between agricultural and energy sectors will shape future investments and the well-being of farmers and consumers worldwide.
The price of oil will have significantly greater influence on biofuels than is implied, I think.
Mostly because oil is a pretty big input to most modern agriculture. So the cost of biofuels will soar with the cost or scarcity of natural petroleum.
Secondly, because to the best of my knowledge, the debate whether biofuels consumes more energy than it produces hasn't been adequately answered. Something that loses $1/bbl isn't a better deal when it loses $2/bbl. One of the major raw materials for fertilizer is natural gas. Big diesel tractors, harveters, and combines don't run on faith. And the energy density of alcohol isn't as good as pure hydrocarbons ... it's already partially oxidized (burnt).
My take on biofuels is that they're a trendy product, meant more for PR than real impact. They may partially help energy independence, but probably at a cost.
And by diverting traditional food crops into a fuel, the "law" of economics says that prices of food will increase. That's one of those natural behavioral things that politics can't change, without the law of unintended consequences taking over.