Monday, February 06, 2006

Vin Diesel, and spilled milk...

Sorry, Julie. Not that Vin Diesel!

This article about turning wine into ethanol to run cars is interesting. Forget about having your car smell of McDonalds fries thanks to biodiesel, maybe the cars of the future will smell of brandy and witblits?
It's somehow sad that surplus wine gets repurposed in this way - imaging all the effort, love and caring that went into growing and picking the grapes, making and storing the wine ... and then, you're reduced to selling it off for pennies a gallon to make cheap fuel.

Still, I guess that is a lot better than what sometimes happens to surplus food. I remember hearing stories about surplus milk in SA being poured out onto the ground. I'm not sure why they couldn't just sell it for less, or make some cheese with it, but then I'm not a dairy farmer... It turns out the Dairy Control Board (a national body to control the price and distribution of dairy products) had something to do with it...

South Africa has also witnessed the destruction of surplus fruit and milk at the behest of control boards in order to keep up prices. Information supplied by the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Uys, in Parliament during the 1968 session revealed that in the four months from 10 October 1967 to 11 February 1968 the Milk Board had issued instructions for some 2,107,000 gallons of skimmed milk to be thrown away in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Klerksdorp, and Bloemfontein. The previous
session, the Minister had stated that more than 500,000 gallons of skimmed milk had been thrown away in Johannesburg and Pretoria between 20 December 1966 and 28 February 1967, on the instructions of the Milk Board. The reason given was 'overproduction'.

More info here (logon required), or cached page here.

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