chinese food marketFood prices worldwide rose for the seventh straight month in January, up 3.4 percent from December 2010. Food prices in the global market are now the highest they've ever been. And don't look for prices to trend downward anytime soon, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which put out the report.
So what's behind the surge in prices? The FAO cites a few likely factors, chief among them extreme shifts in weather patterns: intensely hot summers, longer, bitter winters, extended droughts and heavy rains. All these conditions lead to crop damage—and smaller harvests make for higher prices. Meanwhile the use of agricultural products for industrial applications—such as the transformation of corn into biofuels—has also hurt. More corn channeled into ethanol production means less corn to feed people.
The New York Times also notes that even with supplies diminishing, expanding prosperity in places such as China and India has spiked the global demand for food—especially for meats and high-quality grains—compounding the upward price pressures.Read More »from Global food prices rise to unprecedented levels