Can you imagine forking over half your income for basic food with prices rising daily? That's the reality for some Venezuelans. Forbes reports that the poorest one-fourth of Venezuelans spend 45 percent of their income on food. Inflation in Venezuela has long been a problem, but rates have escalated in the last two years. Food prices have been especially hard hit as a result of poor growing conditions as well as government price controls. Soaring inflation meant that food prices increased more than 33 percent from March 2010 to March 2011.
People compensate by substituting eggs and beans for meat, and others wait hours in food subsidy lines. When some staples like milk, cooking oil, beef and sugar sell out of stores, street vendors will sell them at a high premium.