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Readers React: America could feed more people — not by going vegan, but by ditching corn-based ethanol for fuel

Corn is harvested on a family farm in Kansas.
Corn is harvested on a family farm in Kansas.
(Bo Rader / Associated Press)

To the editor: This utopian scheme borders on ludicrous. (“By going vegan, America could feed an additional 390 million people, study suggests,” March 26)

We would need to change almost everything we do now and completely change people’s eating habits. It could only be seriously considered by people who are doing it as an intellectual exercise.

A much simpler act would to stop using corn for transportation fuel. According to Scientific American, 40% of the corn we produce is used to make ethanol. According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, replacing petroleum fuels with biofuels like ethanol would provide almost no benefit to the climate.

What we doing now is subsidizing giant food corporations while restricting the food supply for millions around the world.

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Allan Baker, Morongo Valley

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To the editor: Very good article on how eating plants instead of animal foods will be more efficient in terms of land use.

What also needs to be emphasized is that even though vitamin B-12 consumption would go down unless there was supplementation, Americans would more get fiber, magnesium, calcium and vitamins C, A, E and K by trading animal products for plant foods — provided, of course, that people eat vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains and fruits instead of unhealthy processed food.

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Alexandra Paul, Pacific Palisades

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To the editor: Your April Fool’s Day article was published in the print edition two days late.

The article opens with the number of Americans who experienced hunger last year and says in the next sentence, “But it doesn’t have to be this way.” Then it cites an academic study showing that a piece of land could produce more plant-based food than animal food.

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The mystery of America’s great food shortage has finally been solved — no more bread lines, no more empty store shelves, no more hunger! Finally, we can fit back into those fat pants!

The academic study addresses an important issue, but it is a leap of logic to assume that surplus plant food would be distributed any differently than our current surplus of plant- and animal-based food.

Steve Porter, Huntington Beach

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