This piece by Adam Lerrick, who's visiting at AEI, expresses about as concisely as I've seen how the rich world's governmenta essentially created the food crisis. In brief:
"Politicians legislate price supports to enrich farm voters. Lobbies extort tariffs to block cheap food imports and subsidies to underwrite food exports at prices that destroy competitors in poor countries. Conservationists have agitated to set aside productive land a pay farmers not to grow. And now green energy advocates push ethanol quotas and tax credits that divert food into fuel."