Rising demand and constricted supply have driven food prices to their highest levels ever, and they may keep climbing. Population growth, changing tastes in developing countries, the use of food for biofuel and increased investment in the commodities market have heightened the demand for food. Meanwhile, urbanization, pollution and trade restrictions have squeezed supply. "There is a structural shift in the demand and supply balance of food on the planet," said Bill Pritchard, an economic geographer at Sydney University.
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