Andrew P. Morriss: Ethanol scam driving up food*prices Read more from this Tulsa World article at Andrew P. Morriss: Ethanol scam driving up food prices | Tulsa World The mandate for corn-based ethanol also drives up food prices. Meeting the 2015 mandate will require using 5.3 billion bushels of corn. As a result of the forced conversion of corn to ethanol, any food containing corn - including pork, beef and ice cream - costs more. The National Council of Chain Restaurants estimates the ethanol mandate costs each of its members $18,000 per year. An inconvenience for wealthy people, rising corn prices are disastrous for the poor, at home and abroad. A Tufts University study estimated that Mexicans paid $1.5 billion more for food from 2006 to 2011. During 2012's drought, U.S. hog farmers imported corn from Brazil while U.S. corn was being made into ethanol. This is even more ridiculous than it sounds as Brazil is an efficient producer of sugar-cane based ethanol. Because of trade barriers designed to protect the U.S. ethanol industry, farmers were forced to import Brazilian corn instead of Brazilian ethanol.