FAO: Food Price Index Reaches Its Highest Recorded Level

More
Nestle_FAOPrices_1-7_post.jpg

monkeyc.net/flickr


The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the U.N. has just released its 2010 food price index. Compared to 2002-2004, commodity food prices sharply increased, especially those of sugars and fats.

The new index is higher than in 2008 when people throughout the world rioted in protest. It is also at the highest level recorded since the index began in 1990.

What's going on? In 2008, FAO explained the crisis as the result of the combined effects of:

    • Competition for cropland from the growth in biofuels
    • Low cereal stocks
    • High oil prices
    • Speculation in food markets
    • Extreme weather events

I've discussed other possible explanations I've collected in previous posts.

This time, supply problems in grains, sugars, and meat are making the problem worse. FAO experts are predicting that prices will go even higher this year.

High food prices are a disaster for the poor and are also a ticket to social disorder. World leaders: Get to work!


This post also appears on foodpolitics.com.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

From This Author

Just In