hist-brewing: This might eventually help end our barley shortages

Bill Velek billvelek at alltel.net
Thu May 15 11:31:41 PDT 2008


Semi-on-topic

As homebrewers, we've watched with some dismay as barley prices have
jumped dramatically, along with most food prices.  Part of that has been
attributed to acreage being diverted to corn for ethanol production, and
is probably true in large measure.  Other factors include the increasing
affluence and standard of living of people in China, India, and other
nations with expanding economic clout, which enables them to compete for
more meat in their diets ... which requires more grain as feed; they are
reportedly also drinking more beer.  There are other factors, too, but
the main point to be made here is that barley prices are affected by the
prices of other grains, regardless of what they are used for.  So, ...
when I came upon this New York Times article --
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/14/join-the-hunt-for-super-rice
-- my immediate thought was that by improving rice crops, and eventually
using the same technology to improve crops of corn, wheat, oats, and
even barley, we should all have more barley to brew with in the future.

Along those lines, if anyone here would like to help with that research,
we just happen to have our own 'Homebrewers' team already working for
the World Community Grid (the very organization which is working on the
'super-rice' project).  Until now, the 'WCG' has been working strictly
on non-profit medical research to help find cures for diseases such as
cancer, but this is an important humanitarian project now that we are
seeing a growing food shortage.  Any member can designate the particular
projects that his/her computer to work on, so if you want ALL of your
computer's spare power to be used for 'super-rice' research, you can
certainly do that.  The main thing is to quit wasting your computer's
power running a stupid screen saver when you're not even looking at it
most of the time, and start using it for humanitarian research.  Our
'Homebrewers' team currently has only 88 members, but we have donated
the equivalent of more than 133 YEARS of computer time for this
non-profit research to benefit all of humanity.

Read about our team here - http://home.alltel.net/billvelek/team.html -
and then click on the Home-Page link to see how safe and secure this is.

Thanks for your time.

Bill Velek



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