After a year in which food prices rose sharply in many countries, strong harvests in Europe, Russia and the United States are helping drive prices back down, reports the (subscription required) Financial Times. Prices for corn, wheat, soybeans and rice are all down.For billions of people around the world the price of basic foodstuffs like these remains the most important single factor in determining whether and how much they eat. Unrest among the world’s poorest rarely affects international politics; people living on one to two dollars a day do not have time for political unrest.But the strong harvests will be a positive factor in the Middle East, and reduced food inflation will give the Indian and Chinese governments a little more breathing room for economic stimulus efforts. The Food and Agricultural Organization says that food price inflation is falling across most of Asia.All in all, good news. Let’s hope that more will be coming our way in 2012. We can use it.