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Found 2 results

  1. I was watching a Netflix series on food and health with commentator Michael Palin. The wheat segment had a comment from a nutritionist that was very interesting. The history of advance of civilization and the important role of food supply with domesticated wheat. But, did you know that if one merely ate wheat they would starve or die of bad nutrition. Only when the wheat is ground up and allowed to ferment with leavening does the wheat magically become life sustaining. The sour dough leavening contains a natural microbe mix that nutritionist think the real improvement. Something we have lost in modern commercial bakeries. Also, the whole grain flour and the low horsepower method of stone grinding play a important role in health. Our modern fast methods of making flour may be destroying micro nutrients that health research have just recently realized a very important food character. Over cooking or harsh cooking will damage the nutritional value of food, as well. We have a better understanding of health benefits of raw or low heat cooking to minimize the damage and loss of micro nutrients, nowadays. So, how does this relate to feed? Well, think about how we have also learned that healthy meat comes from healthy animals. That corn has been criticized as a feed especially for fattening up cattle per the bad fat content of the meat. It's a unnatural food for the usual grass eating bovine. That the majority of corn harvest goes to the task of animal feed. What would be the consequences of taking that portion and processing to a much higher nutritional feed stock? I would think a win win and huge improvement in human diet. To maximize the value of corn utilize for animal feed may take a processing plant to bake the stuff into sour dough mix. The "corn bread" crumbles a big improvement to animal health and extents the corn product value. Top it off, my guess the processing may include pulling off the undesirable corn oil component. May an ethanol plant become a corn processing plant? I remember the talk of industry converting to wet mill operations per the value of flexing production to many more co-products. My guess this would be very superior method for nutrition as its a low horsepower impact of corn kernel. So, the processing plant could flex between yet another co-product. Utilize some starch and distillery grains to ferment with wild microbes for extremely healthy feed. It may prove out the entire corn crop can be managed this way and the practice of feeding of raw corn to live stock would pass away. The processing plant could optimize operations per market demands and remove unwanted constituents of corn feed for other co-products. The movie was pretty convincing that modern practices of making bread removes most of the valuable health benefits. Can only think we could learn a lesson here for animal feed as well.
  2. How could ethanol improve it's image? Currently, we battle to defend, let alone improve ethanol image. Opponents win when sales motivated upon a defense of the fuel. Think of the fuel primary benefits being turned upside down. Cost, environment, jobs, economic, etc. Youth especially are susceptible to group influence in the facebook and twitter age and need to spout conventional wisdom to gain respect. They need fresh ideas (or old ones reinvented) to impress upon peers their wisdom and ignorance of older generations. Nothing new here, lol. My daughter are in this generation and often claim new found intelligence upon their generation and point to evils of mono culture and of the corn plant. It rings like a conspiracy to poison citizens, corporate greed, and capitalistic evil as compared to sashaying about with wine glass enjoying appreciative friendly organic gardening neighbors, good health, and easy lifestyle (Thank you Omnivores). The farmer has suffered upon pubic image. Just a few years back, (even on this site) ethanol suffer the conventional wisdom that corn was the stupidest feed stock ever for ethanol. I have a friend that talks of such concerns when attempting to make the family farm profitable for his son. Regulators enacting layers of expensive regs per public demands that think the farmers wholesale wrecking the environment and poisoning its customers. I sat on jury once with teacher whom basically hated country kids and felt they were renegades that think they could do as they please. She was all for cracking the legal whip and taking away any extra freedom that might be enjoyed. How to stem this tide? I would steer away form the corn images at the E85 pump. Publish and provide studies, facts, polls, human interest, personal testimony, for the news and media. Provide students and educators ample opportunity to entail experiments, contests, competition, assignments, kits, and to keep up on new technology. Utilize internet media to accomplish same. Provide stories of successful small generator of ethanol, engine conversions, and consumer benefits. This would be the Mother Earth organic gardening human interest side that is so attractive, especially to youth. Fight the corporate image of ethanol and farm owners that the opponents of ethanol try to stereotype. Make stories personal and enlightening. Utilize as much popularity energy as possible i.e. trends, actors. If selfies are the rage, offer contest to those with E85 signage in background. If U-tube fame offer same individual opportunity to do likewise with side benefit of "ethanol support". Racing is home run as we know. Same could ensue with university engineering competition of E85 mpg contest support by farm community. Offer media popular human interest stories of ethanol such as youth experiments or single parents making cost efficient choices. Instead of broad whole sale defense of the fuel, just offer one interesting drip or tid bit of fact and if done frequently will break the dam of conventional bias. I do think ethanol is winning the battle and that petrol competition is at a all time panic to strike as much damage to the ethanol image as possible and throw as much political influence to accomplish the same. The RFS and cellulosic fuel is a battle they don't want to lose. Another point probably hopelessly lost is the indirect land use and food vs fuel issue that is slippery and totally defenseless per subjective content and common belief. Public thinks their is a need for safety to limit or corner farming opportunity. This is similar thinking to forbidding exports of gasoline as we want cheap fuel or stop Ford from exporting autos just the juice to keep prices down and supply up. Just bad economic competence that always surfaces as poison if economy suffers. To this, it might be best to continue max public information of cellulosic and alternative feed stock for ethanol. Inform public that ethanol increase will not take more corn and starve citizens or destroy land. UW Madison genetic tree success for pulp feed stock or the Misanthus feed stock very interesting story to be told from all angles. Same with waste ethanol success.
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