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Food Costs Highest Since 1990: U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Report (PHOTOS)

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Up for the sixth month in a row and fueled by surging sugar prices and rises in cereals and oils,
the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index rose to a record high in December 2010, representatives said.

According to Reuters, the index -- which measures monthly price changes for a food basket composed of cereals, oil seeds, dairy, meat and sugar -- reached
averaged 214.7 points last month. This is the index's highest point since records began in 1990, in nominal terms, topping the previous high of 213.5 in June 2008, during the food crisis of 2007/08.

Despite this, the FAO -- a UN body in charge of global food policy -- is drawing comfort from the overall absence of riots, which typically define a food crisis, the Financial Times is reporting.

Take a look at some regions which have battled food shortages in the past year here:

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