But the devil's in the details. And people fall into traps of snap judgments. So I might well be wrong for the following reasons:
- the definition of "food". It can mean the costs to the consumer of articles in the supermarket in the U.S. Or it could mean the prices of basic commodities: rice, wheat, corn, etc. averaged over 6.7 billion people. The impact using the first definition is much less than the second, and there could obviously be variations and permutations of the definition.
- the definition of cause--which straw broke the camel's back? If you start with 2002 and look at all the changes in production and demand since, there are many things which impact price.
Having said all the above, and knowing we still haven't seen the actual study, I still expect the World Bank study to end up at one extreme of the argument, but I can't dismiss it as cavalierly as I did before.
[Update: See here for an update. Via Farm Policy.com]