Majority of Americans concerned about food prices, poll finds

NEW YORK A new poll conducted by the Financial Times and Harris Poll found that worry over rising food prices increasingly has become a concern among Americans.

This FT/Harris poll, conducted online by Harris Interactive, surveyed 1,002 U.S. adults ages 16 years to 64 years — in addition to adults in France, Italy, Germany, Great Britain and Spain, five of the largest European countries — between Sept. 15 and 21, and found that 58% of U.S. respondents are somewhat more concerned or much more concerned about the price of food. The survey also found that only a small minority in the United States (and Europe) believed higher demand from China, India and other emerging countries is the main culprit.

Overall, the poll found, respondents have become more concerned about the price of food since the global financial crisis.

According to a recent Financial Times article, worries about rising food prices have been driven by the soaring prices of wheat, barley and corn, following poor harvest in Russia, Ukraine, northern Europe and Canada because of adverse weather. The surge has accelerated, with corn prices up 13.5% and wheat up by more than 10%, after the U.S. government warned of "dramatically" lower supplies.

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