Brad Feld

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Tyson’s Renewable Energy

Nov 27, 2006
Category Random

In the “if you can’t beat them, join them” category, following is a hilariously ironic story by Mark A. Stein from the 11/19/06 New York Times Openers section.

“Tyson Foods, the world’s largest chicken producer and meat processing company, blamed high corn prices last week for its third consecutive quarterly loss. It said that the recent excitement over corn-based ethanol fuel sent the price of that grain soaring, raising feed costs and compounding the effect of a meat glut that depressed prices. “This is either corn for feed for corn for fuel,” Rich L. Bond, president and chief executive, lamented in a statement.

Well, if fuels are where the money is, Tyson will be there too. As Mr. Bond was releasing the disappointing results, Jeff Webster of the corporate strategy department was announcing a brand new venture: Tyson Renewable Energy. Its first task? Turning some of what the company described as its “vast supply of animal fat” – 2.3 billion pounds a year, Mr. Webster reckons – into a diesel-like biofuel.”

I wonder how – as a vegetarian – I’d reconcile pouring “chicken diesel” into my car? We know we are really in trouble when a single corn on the cob costs as much as a pound of nova scotia lox.