Higher food prices are leading more than a third of U.S. consumers to cut back on holiday spending, according to a new survey by Americas Research Group for Reuters.

A total of 28.4% of the 1,000 people surveyed by Americas Research Group said that rising food costs would cause them to cut back on their Christmas shopping somewhat. Another 7.2% said they would most definitely cut back.

According to the American Meat Institute (AMI), approximately 40% of the U.S. corn crop is now devoted to ethanol production. This increase in corn demand has driven corn prices to record levels, putting tremendous pressure on the livestock and poultry industries that traditionally have been the major consumers of corn as feed.

In fact, corn prices have roughly tripled since the government in 2006 mandated that ethanol be blended into gasoline, and the Consumer Price Index for meat and poultry products has risen steadily with it.

AMI has advocated for a more balanced energy policy that would include federal energy policies that transcend corn-based ethanol and don’t pit food, feed and fuel needs against each other.

To sign a petition supporting a balanced energy policy, go to http://www.cornforfoodnotfuel.com/.