I just had a thought and went to check out CME for what the markets are thinking about in terms of what the food prices would be in 1 year's time. For people who do not know, futures are financial instruments which allow you to purchase or sell a standardised contract for a commodity (or anything...) in the future.
See this pdf file. Generally, as you can see, compared to an year ago, prices are way way over, dramatically over, almost doubling in many cases. But when you look down the list for corn, oats, rough rice, soybean, wheat, cattle, hogs, etc, most indices are predicting a rise in prices in May 2009. So the problem isnt going away, my friends, and in many cases, it is actually going to get worse.
For example, the meat prices are going to increase by 10-20% roughly over 1 year. Can you imagine that kind of a hit on a poor family? Do you seriously think their salaries and earnings are going to increase that much?
But if you think the poor dont eat meat, what about wheat? Well, that's also predicting anything around 15% rises in the price of wheat. Interestingly, they are predicting a decrease in the price of rice, I wonder why that is the case? Is it because they will have better supply? Or clamp down on imports? But that's in the future, remember the price has more than doubled since last year so people are hurting very badly NOW.
Very curious and very dangerous. Not sure how or what the governments will do but the markets do not seem to think that they will be able to influence anything!