A projection of global food demand to 2050, with assumptions on population growth, dietary shifts and biofuel expansion, provides an estimate of the amount of additional food needed over the next 40 years to satisfy human needs. This additional food demand, expressed in kilocalories, represents a “mega-wedge” akin to the carbon stabilisation wedges of Pacala and Socolow (2004). This food demand challenge consists of three component “food wedges” classed according to their target pathways: i.e. pathways that target reducing food demand; pathways that target increasing food production; and pathways that target sustaining the productive capacity of food systems. In this paper we examine these wedges in terms of prospective pathways through which food supply and demand can stay in balance over the next 40 years. Within these wedge classes, we nominate 14 pathways that are likely to make up the food security ‘solution space’. These prospective pathways are tested through a survey of 86 food security researchers who provided their views on the likely significance of each pathway to satisfy projected global food demand to 2050. The targeting of pathways that contribute to filling the production gap was ranked as the most important strategy by surveyed experts; they nominated that 46% of the required additional food demand is likely to be achieved through pathways that increase food production. Pathways that contribute to sustaining the productive capacity are nominated to account for 34% of the challenge and 20% might be met by better food demand management. However, not one of the 14 pathways was overwhelmingly ranked higher than other pathways. This paper contributes a simple and comprehensive framing of the “solution space” to the future food demand challenge and a portfolio of investment pathways proposed to meet this challenge.

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