Monday, June 04, 2007

Mexicans giving up tequila for ethanol

MSNBC: Ethanol boom may fuel shortage of tequila
MEXICO CITY - Mexican farmers are setting ablaze fields of blue agave, the cactus-like plant used to make the fiery spirit tequila, and resowing the land with corn as soaring U.S. ethanol demand pushes up prices.
The switch to corn will contribute to an expected scarcity of agave in coming years, with officials predicting that farmers will plant between 25 percent and 35 percent less agave this year to turn the land over to corn.
"Those growers are going after what pays best now," said Ismael Vicente Ramirez, head of agriculture at Mexico's Tequila Regulatory Council.


Production of agave, from the lily family, soared in recent years as farmers cashed in on record prices brought about by a shortage of the plant at the start of the decade.
Despite rapid growth in tequila drinking, especially overseas, the over-supply of agave has driven prices for the plant to rock-bottom levels.

When I first heard this story from a correspondent via e-mail, he made it sound as if the blue agave plant was threatened with extinction, which isn't backed up by the tenor of the article from Reuters. I was initially panicked, since the loss of such an important species was an environmental cause that would definetely drive me to activism.

Regardless, I think I'm going to stop by Superstore tonight and stock up.

If any of you need a recomendation, Viuda de Romero remains my favorite by far, even after all of these years. While I have a pretty good idea how Romero made his SeƱora a widow, it remains a smooth, mellow drink, suitable for either casual sipping, or swilling prior to doing something in public that will get you arrested. It eschews a fancy bottle and glitzy marketing in favor of just delivering the goods with a great taste. Miles better than Sauza, in my opinion.

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Anonymous said...

Here I thought the only collateral damage of the misguided ethnanol plan was a tortilla shortage. Now it seems the poor won't even be able to kill the hunger pangs with tequila.

Flatland Pastor said...

And thus the worm turns....

It ain't only gonna be tortillas and hooch buckos. Take a look at any processed food in your pantry and see if their isn't some derivative product from corn in it.

Feed the cars, starve the people. Fix the obesity and clean the air with one fell swoop!

Only thing is, ethanol use won't stop global warming and, historically speaking, hordes of hungry people tend to do desperate and destructive things. Hunger (or the fear thereof) also makes people very prone to the suggestions of political megalomaniacs.

We seem to be witnessing a number of related knee-jerk reactions to environmental changes that are rapidly presenting unforeseen consequences (where's all the mercury gonna go Dr. Suzuki after we've all put fluorescent lights in our homes - about 60 in my place alone - would somebody, somewhere start doing the math on this, please!)

It's like international domino day only I'm starting to feel like one of the dominoes.

-It's a viable alternative that hasn't been tried yet.-