Why are food prices rising? The Economist says that years of government hyper-involvement around the globe has created a economically-unstable market that can't react when there's a sudden demand for food-stuffs (like corn by the bio-fuel industry):

In general, governments ought to liberalise markets, not intervene in them further. Food is riddled with state intervention at every turn, from subsidies to millers for cheap bread to bribes for farmers to leave land fallow. The upshot of such quotas, subsidies and controls is to dump all the imbalances that in another business might be smoothed out through small adjustments onto the one unregulated part of the food chain: the international market.

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