Retail food prices in the United States rose an average of over 9 percent annually from 1973 to 1979. The authors examine why these increases occurred and what can be done to slow the rate of increase. They also provide an overview of the food delivery system. Substantially reducing the upward movement in food prices will require the same long-term effort needed to reduce general inflation. In addition, actions to reduce the volatility in commodity prices and commodity trade flows also appear needed.