Other than your paycheck, the local grocery store may be the finest example of global economic forces at work. Statistically, if you're among the world's wealthy, rising food prices are of no concern to you. But the same stats show that you're likely not in this elite group. Instead, there's a strong chance that you're in the large group that spends 15% of their income on food, and even the smallest rise in food prices can severely impact your family budget. (For more, see A Map To Grocery Store Savings.)
Have you ever wondered what causes food prices to fluctuate? Like most questions involving global economics, there is no easy answer, but here are the five main factors affecting your grocery bill.