Don't blame ethanol for pricier popcorn
If your popcorn costs a little more when you go see the Simpsons movie, some distributors would like to blame it on the ethanol industry.
That's because while popcorn has always brought a premium, more and more corn acreage has been converted to alcohol production.
Less land devoted to the snack food, plus dry field conditions, translates to tighter supplies which results in higher prices. It's basic economics.
But there's more to it than that.
According to a story by The Associated Press, U.S. farmers harvested about 890 million pounds of popcorn from 214,243 acres in the cornbelt.
Americans eat 17 billion quarts of popcorn a year, about 70 percent of it in the home, according to the Popcorn Board.
We eat most of our popcorn in the fall and continue to enjoy it throughout the winter months, before taking a break in the spring and summer.
The story cited a pair of Ohio brothers who expect to receive at least 13 cents a pound for this year's crop, compared to 9 cents a pound for last year's.
But if the price of your snack goes up next winter, don't think the farmer enjoyed all of the profits. More than likely, the raise went to pay for higher packaging, distribution and transportation costs.
And the transportation costs were pushed up by the higher cost of fuel.
That's exactly the problem the ethanol industry is trying to solve.