Global food prices are the highest in more than 20 years, a United Nations agency said in a report released Thursday -- as rising oil prices stemming from civil unrest in the Middle East have caused the cost of items like cereal, dairy products and meat to increase.

Worldwide food prices increased 2.2% in February from January and have advanced for eight straight months, according to the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Cereal and diary prices were each up about 4% in February while meat prices increased 2%.

Overall prices are the highest since the FAO started keeping such records in 1990. Much of the increase is from the rising price of oil, which neared $120 a barrel late last month -- as hundreds were killed in riots between forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and anti-government protesters.

Other food commodities have surged in recent months, in part due to bad weather conditions. Last month, wheat prices reached two-year highs because of a recent drought in China's winter wheat-producing region. Sugar prices surged in January because of supply constraints stemming from cyclones and floods that hit Australia, the world's third-largest sugar producer behind Brazil and Thailand.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Investor’s Toolbox

Improve your investing savvy with the right financial toolset.

View Course »

Economics 101

Intro to economics. But fun.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

73 Comments

Filter by:
ppopcorn122

How is it that prices can go up putting Retirees,veterans,and disabled pepole.to have NO raises. knowing the cost of living is going up. for two years.NO Raises
do you think it's easy on them. i know the cost of living is gone up
and there trying to do the best they can. but do somthing to help them
your going to get your raise.times are hard. what do i eat now?.a little
could help.

March 05 2011 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hi Nancy

guess its time to stock up on Ramen noodles....that's going to be the only thing we are all going to be able to afford!

March 04 2011 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
slverlake3

This oil mess is not Bushes or Obama's fault. It is the fault of us, the American people. We as a nation use 25% of the world's oil but we only make up less than 3% of the population. The majority of us still drive large cars and trucks that get lousy gas mileage. With the exception of New York San Francisco and Chicago the public transportation system in this country is joke. We still burn oil to produce electricity. Our government allows speculators to drive the price of a barrel of oil to unreasonable levels. A third world hole like Brazil was able to cut off all of its imports by switching over to alternatives and conserving what they produce domestically but we cannot find the innovation to do that. We need to go back to the energy policies of the Carter administration. He may have been a failed president but his energy policies cut our oil imports in half in the late 1970's. Drilling more holes in the ground is not going to get us out of this. We use too much and besides I do not want to drive up Pacific Coast Highway in California and see oil rigs polluting the beautiful Pacific ocean. Even worse is that we have a Gulf of Mexico type accident along the California coast. Bottom line is we need to start to change the way we use energy and the first thing we need to do is ditch our gas guzzling cars and trucks.

March 04 2011 at 12:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to slverlake3's comment
alesser

and the whole Democrat Republican blame thing is ridiculous too. A politician is a politician. Dems clean up after Republicans (they get blamed). Republicans clean up after Dems (they get blamed). Can't you see?????? 3-5 years following each administration everyone points fingers at the opposite party. Politics stink.

March 04 2011 at 9:41 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
alesser

what a ridiculous comment; the rich keep getting richer. Let's see, if you worked hard and finally made a success of your business/life and had lots of money from your hard work...well, then, (sarcasm) of course you should share it. That is crazy. If you earn something, it is yours, not someone else's who is sitting on their behind watching Oprah reruns. sigh. Hard work = reward. No one will become a hard worker if they are 'handed' everything. Hard times are hard times. Even some of us who 'have' have gone hungry and been poor at one time. THINK.

March 04 2011 at 9:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
abudotcom

Really? I had not noticed. Oh wait, I dont have the money to do anything that why.

March 04 2011 at 7:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sfamilyent

The report claims that food prices are rising along with the cost of oil, and that cereal utilization is increasing partly due to the US ethanol program. Don't forget that we use tax dollars to subsidize ethanol production. Would the US and the world be better off if the US tapped some of their domestic oil reserves?

March 04 2011 at 7:30 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
knowitallpaul

How's that hope and change working? Socialism never works...

March 04 2011 at 3:47 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
billcoffer

This must be really good news for seniors. Based on the latest Department of Labor economic figures, as reflected by the Consumer Price Index, the Social Security Administration estimates the annual Cost of Living Adjustment scheduled for December 2011 will be about 1 percent. http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/bri.cgi

March 04 2011 at 1:20 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
Mr.Steve J.W.

This is just the beginning. The shift has already begun. It may be to late to change all that has happened. GOD BLESS YOU ALL

March 04 2011 at 1:18 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply