One measure of the success of a community, a nation, indeed our world as we move from today’s population of 7 billion to 9 billion, even 11 billion by the end of this century, is the ability to feed our people. By that measure, we are only barely succeeding. For so many, simply having enough to eat is a daily and never-ending battle. Food fights are no longer simply a rambunctious exercise in a high school lunchroom. They mean survival—life or death. This is the issue we set out to explore in the fall issue of World Policy Journal—how to feed the world and how, at the same time, make food a joy as well as an obligation.

We begin with the Big Question, a selection of thinkers from nearly every continent reflecting on how their states will best satisfy...

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