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Hungry Anyone?  Food Stocks to Chew On

In a down economy, investors often turn to Consumer Staples that are more insulated from economic cycles.

Key in this sector are food stocks; after all, we still have to eat. Wednesday, ConAgra beat analyst expectations and today Erin Burnett interviews Kendall Powell, the CEO from General Mills .

What follows is a list of some of the biggest food related companies and how they have performed YTD.

Let's start with consumer packaged foods and beverages. Both General Mills and Conagra are manufacturers of some of the biggest consumer brands like Cheerios and Betty Crocker from GIS and Hebrew National and Orville Redenbacher from CAG. The biggest packaged food company is Nestle.

Next, you need to buy these delicious products at the supermarket. Here are some of the leading grocers. Some of the biggest supermarket chains are from overseas but have ADR's that trade in the US.

If you would rather get your food by going out to eat, here are some restaurant stocks to look at.

Finally, there are many other food service companies that help in the processing of food or help manage the cafeterias at your offices.