Man, fuck corn.
Well, fuck corn in the USA.
Why? Uncle mjijm is here to tell you why. There are three big reasons:
Between the EPA, the USDA, and the US Congress, a massive amount of subsidies for taking corn and making it into ethanol have been created. These subsidies are specifically used for corn which is processed into ethanol; regular corn does not receive the (7.3 billion dollars of) subsidies. This is problem A.
A large amount of ethanol is actually required (by the Energy Policy Act of 2005) to be used as vehicle fuel each year, ensuring a massive demand for ethanol in the United States. This is problem B.
Problems A and B together have led to almost 40% of the USA's corn being used for ethanol. This alone would be enough to lead to the cost of corn shooting up, which isn't great, but also isn't the worst thing on earth. However, I mentioned that there are three problems.
Problem C is that almost all livestock is raised on some version of corn-based feed. Though grass fed beef is an (increasingly popular) option, other animals (particularly poultry) are nearly impossible to raise without buying corn-based feed, which, due to the corn shortage, is increasingly expensive. This leads to an increase of meat prices across the board, fucking over the consumer.
Quoth Tem42: Fun fact - corn is really bad for cows, and getting them to market is a race between the excess growth caused by the corn and the rotting of the internal organs caused by the corn. These subsidies for corn preceded the ethanol ruckus by a good long time, and we've been letting corn rot for years -- in the name of supporting out farmers. That is the reason that so much meat is corn fed, and one of the reasons that meat is so cheap. So now we turn around and undermine the market...