But his point is straightforward and would seemingly apply to 10.5 billion, just as it would to 9 billion. The problem, he argues, is not food production, per se, but poverty. If we reduce poverty, then we can reduce hunger--not just in developing countries, but also here in the U.S. You will recognize this as a classic neo-Marxian perspective, although I don't know anything about Bittman's politics (being a good cook doesn't necessarily put you in one political camp or another). The idea that we actually already grow enough food globally is one that Vaclav Smil has made repeatedly. Bittman, however, rejects Smil's view that maldistribution of food is a major issue--although Bittman does not really justify that position. There are, however, several other points that Bittman makes with which I am wholly in agreement:
There’s plenty of food. Too much of it is going to feed animals, too much of it is being converted to fuel and too much of it is being wasted.
We don’t have to increase yield to address any of those issues; we just have to grow food more smartly than with the brute force of industrial methods, and we need to address the circumstances of the poor.And, although Bittman does not mention it, we need to be dealing immediately with the long-term effects of climate change, because that promises to change a lot in terms of what kinds of food can be grown and where.