Interested in exactly how much the rising price of food is making people feel? See this excellent interactive map of the various food riots around the world so far this year. It doesn’t make for happy viewing.
It should also make us wonder more than we already do about the role of the financial sector in commodity markets. I used to think that speculation wasn’t that big a deal for food prices. I don’t think that any more. Clearly, speculation affects food prices and clearly, that matters.
For more on this see The Food Bubble: How Wall Street Starved Millions and Got Away With It.
For academic references showing the link between food prices and speculation see Food security and financial markets