Global Food Prices Skyrocket

Food prices around the world rose for the seventh consecutive month in January and will continue to do so, says a new report from the United Nations. The rise was driven by unpredictable weather patterns that have wreaked havoc on crops and made suppliers uncertain about their yields. Rains in Australia, for example, damaged much of the country's wheat crop and downgraded it to feed quality, leading to a 100 percent increase in the price of American wheat over last year. A poor soybean crop in the U.S. means stocks are at a 50-year low, and the prices of cotton and sugar are also soaring. In addition to freakish weather, often attributed to climate change, food prices are tied to changing demand: Countries like China and India that are consuming more meat and better grain as they grow richer.