In January, the global food price index rose for the seventh month in a row, reaching the higest level since record keeping began in 1990. Raj Patel is an activist and academic whose book, Stuffed and Starved, predicted the food crisis that caused riots on four continents back in 2008. More recently, his book, The Value of Nothing, argues that we as citizens should rethink our assumptions about rational markets and the very meaning of democracy. Patel’s ideas are especially relevant when sharp rises in the cost of bread helped ignite protests in Yemen, Libya and Egypt. Today, we’re digging into food and freedom with Raj Patel for our 11 for '11 series of big thinkers and new perspectives on the world we live in today.