Italians choosing pasta over pizza

National Geographic has a series of interesting articles about the global food crisis. Basically, the high cost of food is changing behaviors around the world, from Japanese bars to the slums of Nairobi. According to the latest story, Italians are eating far less pizza and choosing pasta instead due to the rising cost of olive oil, mozzarella, and wheat flour. Pasta eating is on the rise. From National Geographic:

In fact, the number of Italians who say their favorite food is pizza has dropped from 14.1 percent to 8.7 percent in the past two years, according to a survey from GPF Research Institute, a private opinion poll company….

Olive oil and mozzarella, both vital components of traditional Neapolitan pies, cost more as well. Olive oil prices have risen 10.9 percent and mozzarella prices 14.3 percent since April 2007.

"That's mainly due to recent fluctuations in [the] oil market. We need it to warm greenhouses and cattle sheds, to fuel machines, to transport products, and we have to import all of it," said Sergio Marini, president of Coldiretti, the Italian farmers union. "Italian agriculture is deeply affected by international oil prices."

In total, pizza prices have gone up 13 percent since April 2007, according to Italy's National Institute for Statistics.

Pizza too expensive (National Geographic)