Since 2005, in real terms, prices have jumped by 75%. The Economist's food-price index is higher today than at any time since it was created in 1845. In other words, what we are presently facing is a record high food inflation, or agflation as it is commonly refered to now.
The underlying factors leading to the present phenomenon are surging oil price and long-running changes in diet that accompany the growing wealth in emerging economies.
For example, a Chinese consumer who ate 20 kg of meat in 1985 will scoff over 50 kg of the stuff this year. This inevitably produces a chain reaction, pushing up demand for grain.
Spiralling oil price led to a fanatical search for cheaper substitute. Biofuel came in as one of the best choices, triggering off a race for crops between men and machines (vehicles). Maize subsidies in the West provided incentive for farmers to switch from other crops to maize, making food prices go crazy!
I agree that it is time for gluttons to cut down diet in fighting against agflation. But the ordinary folks are definitely harder-hit by the rising cost than the better-off groups. That is precisely why I called it a threat to many.