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    Peru's military has begun eating bread made from potatoes, a native crop, to combat a rise in food prices partly fueled by the cost of loaves made from imported wheat, Defense Minister Antero Flores-Araoz said.

    Wheat prices have risen 35 percent in the last year to US$1.27 (€0.81) per kilogram (US$0.58;€0.37 a pound), fueling a 40 percent increase in bread prices, according to the National Statistics Institute.

    "Wheat isn't produced here, it's imported, and every day it costs more,"Flores-Araoz told reporters at Lima army base, surrounded by potato baguettes, braided potato loaves and mini-potato croissants.

    A government-run food company now produces about 12,000 loaves a day made from one-third boiled and mashed potatoes and two-thirds wheat flour. Peru's prisons and many public schools have also served potato bread since January.