• Food price;
  • political economy;
  • communication

Only a few years ago the widely shared view was that low food prices were a curse to developing countries and the poor. Their dramatic increase in 2006–8 appears to have altered this view fundamentally. High food prices are now judged to have a devastating effect on developing countries and the world's poor – a reversal of opinion that raises questions about the old and the new arguments and the proposed remedies, and also about the causes of this dramatic turnaround in analysis and policy conclusions. This article puts these changes in perspective and discusses their potential implications.