The last decade has seen a stark increase in world food prices and food price volatility. From the year 2000 until 2011, food price levels and volatility have more than doubled. Previous research on this topic has concentrated on the effect of high food prices  and has confined its analysis to specific regional and time contexts. This essay attempts to makes two contributions to the literature. First, the analysis distinguishes between permanent shocks (trend), volatility, short- to medium-term changes and sustained episodes of hikes and drops in prices. By doing so, the estimated effects can be attributed to specific components of food price variation. Second, the analysis extends the regional and time perspective. By relying on a pseudo panel approach, an idea first introduced by Deaton (1985), survey data from 38 countries spanning over a period of 20 years can be put to use. See review of literature by Von Braun et al. 2012.