Olga Khazan doubts that test-tube meat will do much for world hunger. She notes that “12.5 percent of the world’s population is considered ‘hungry,’ but many development economists say we already grow enough food to feed them all”:
The connection between high-tech food production techniques and hunger happens, [Joshua Muldavin, a professor of human geography] thinks, because the people behind it “need to find ways to legitimate ongoing investment in this form of technology. I think that’s a disservice to people who are working on those issues in more realistic ways. This just reinforces the notion that hunger is all about abundance.”
Instead, most famines occur because disasters cause crops, food delivery systems, and social networks to break down on a massive scale, or because corruption or inefficiency diverts food from needy people.