Farm prices for food items are very high again

I am busy working on some bigger projects that I can’t write about yet, but I thought I would put up a little scanned in section from today’s WSJ relating to food prices. Food prices are now 18.5% higher than a year ago, and higher than when they reached their peak in 2008.

Wass Street Journal graph of food price indexHigh food prices are a concern, both for poorer people in the US, and for the huge number of poor people around the world. If food prices go up, many will not be able to pay for sufficient food for a well-balanced diet (assuming they could in the past). And of course, as food prices go up, people will cut back on spending on more discretionary items, since they have to eat.

The current rise in prices does not look like it has hit a maximum yet. The recent run-up in oil prices may not be fully reflected in the food costs. All of this is concerning.