Demand For Animal Fat Plumps Up Pricing

US - Millions of Americans are trying to avoid fat, but not Jason Christiansen. He seeks it out every day - whether it's pork fat, beef fat, chicken fat, even French-fry fat.
calendar icon 9 October 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
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"When you tie food to fuel, it creates inflation and affects different segments of the economy that people never thought of"

Jason Christiansen

A trader for a company called Agri-Trading, 60 miles west of Minneapolis, Christiansen wants a lot of fat - 1 million pounds, in fact.

Fat is sizzling. And biofuels are cooking up the demand.

Today's higher prices for feed corn, fueled by increased ethanol production, are causing livestock producers to supplant more of their animals' diets with fat. Fats and greases also can be used to make biodiesel, and can be cheaper than making the fuel with soybean oil.

"When you tie food to fuel, it creates inflation and affects different segments of the economy that people never thought of," Christiansen said.

At least two biodiesel plants in Iowa have begun to make biodiesel from animal fat, along with at least five plants in other states, according to the National Biodiesel Board. A dozen use waste grease or recycled cooking oil. Another 65 nationally have the potential to use fats or greases, although it's unclear how many do.

Source: DesMoinesRegister
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