Soaring food prices could fuel social unrest around the world

Civil disorder and conflict around the world loom as food prices soar to decade highsThe New York Times reports. A torrent of hurdles and catastrophes—supply chain disruptions, swelling energy costs, harsh weather conditions—have led to the highest global food prices since 2011, according to an index released last week by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. That year, skyrocketing food costs were a factor in the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Libya. The strain has been unevenly distributed around the world. Poorer nations across Latin America and Africa—where food costs eat up to 60 percent of people’s income—are likely to feel the pinch of higher prices much more compared to wealthier ones like the United States, where food costs take up a far smaller portion of households’ finances. And while food prices have appeared to begin settling, experts warn that a single event like Russia invading Ukraine, a major grain producer, could be enough to set off runaway increases once again. —Matthew Sedacca