During the last couple of decades, there have been several serious global food crises, with severe economic, political and market-related consequences. Most recently, during 2007-08 and again in 2010-11, crises occurred with rapidly increasing food prices. It is important to shed light on the content, form, causes and consequences of food crises in order to be better able to predict and prevent future food crises. The most recent food crises share many common features, and it was largely the same mechanisms which were at work. With increasing pressure on agricultural and food markets and future changes in market structures, it is likely that food crises will be a recurring phenomenon.