Spikes in food prices in the past few years have heightened public awareness of global hunger and poverty, and have vastly increased funding for policies on agricultural development and food security. In short, we believe that the poor paradoxically stand to benefit from current high and volatile global food prices.

Mass media attention drives policy agendas (J. F. M. Swinnen and N. Francken World Econ. 29, 637–654; 2006). The jump in food prices in 2008 attracted news coverage of hunger and farmers' problems in developing countries; such coverage has since kept pace with the volatile spiking in food prices.

This has resulted in more development aid from international organizations for agriculture and hunger prevention, reversing a long downward trend (U. Lele Science 327, 1554; 2010). The private sector is also investing more in agriculture in developing countries.

We should approach today's food crisis as a valuable opportunity to combat global poverty and hunger.