The spiralling food security crisis puzzling everyone from policymakers to researchers and governments in developing countries is attracting a new class of champions: celebrities.

Hollywood stars, pop icons and television personalities entering the complicated realm of global food politics are not merely being welcomed with open arms by some of the world's most respected - and increasingly overstretched - food aid organizations, they're being recruited to help build awareness at a critical juncture.

Commodity prices are at their highest real-term levels in decades, food riots are erupting regularly around the world; markets are ever-volatile as is the climate, which has been hammering agriculture yields and drying up the water supply. Those forces continue to inflate the question of how there will ever be enough food to feed the people already on this planet and the nine billion who are forecast to populate it by mid-decade.

What can big-name personalities do about all of that? Some food security theorists argue policymakers and corporations alone aren't capable of catalyzing the masses of people needed to restructure the global food juggernaut.

"We have to change the eating habits of 10 or 11 billion human beings by the mid-century. We need to double food production, but there are going to be less resources to do so," said Julian Cribb, an Australian science writer and author of The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do To Avoid It. "That means every single person is going to feel the consequences of that, either in massive increases in food prices, conflict, government failure or refugee crises if we don't solve the problem," he said, adding: "Prominent people can show leadership . they can actually make what needs to be done fashionable."

"We don't have an advertising budget," said Bettina Luescher, a spokeswoman for the WFP. "We're the guys with the dirty fingernails who really work deep in the field in the most dangerous and difficult places on Earth. In the last couple of years we've branched out more . to find ambassadors who can shine the spotlight on our work," she said.

"When used effectively, celebrities can be catalytic to an issue. they can take an issue that is otherwise ignored and neglected and put it front and centre in the public eye," said Trevor Neilson, co-founder of the U.S.-based Global Philanthropy Group, which is a sort of matchmaking consultancy that connects famous and non-famous philanthropists with worthy causes. Although most of his clients are non-celebrities, the roster includes Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Ben Stiller and, at one point, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.