Thursday, March 10, 2011
Rising Food Prices
As you have probably heard, world food prices have been rising.
In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization shows that food prices have been increasing steadily since last June. The FAO has tracked food prices with its Food Price Index since 1990. Over the past four years, food prices have exhibited significant instability. They peaked in June 2008, during the most recent food crisis.
More recently, however, food prices rose even higher in December 2010. But prices apparently have yet to peak, as "Global food prices have reached their highest point in 20 years" in February, according to the AP article linked above.
Food is essential individually and socially. A decrease in food security (the availability of food in a country, and the people’s access to that food) can contribute to political instability. Take, for example, food riots in Tunisia and Algeria in January.
Recognizing the fundamental importance of food -- individually, politically, socially, etc. -- makes it imperative to explore some of the factors contributing to the rise in food prices.
Over the next several weeks, I will explore some of the factors behind rising food prices.