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food / travel

Lab-Grown Meat: Is That What's For Dinner?

Among the innovations expected to change how our food is made is artificial meat. The results will feed more people and be environmentally friendlier.

Meet the new meat
Meet the new meat
Valeria Román

BUENOS AIRES —The world's food production system is bankrupt, and innovations that could help solve this enormous global issue include lab-grown meat, vertical farms and 3D food design.

This is the scenario laid out by food security expert Nicholas Haan at the recent InnovatiBA conference organized in Buenos Aires to discuss possible solutions. The World Food Program estimates that some 870 million people worldwide suffer from malnutrition, which means that one in eight people can't lead healthy, active lives because they don't have access to proper nutrition. That means the system is failing to assure a basic human right, Haan says.

Not only does our system fail to feed everyone, but it's also putting too much pressure on the resources food production requires — land, water and electricity — he tells Clarín. Which is why innovations that public and private centers are developing, such as in-vitro meat, are critical.

[rebelmouse-image 27089410 alt="""" original_size="508x500" expand=1]

Source: Mike Licht

"You take cells from a living animal that is not killed, and the cells are taken to a laboratory for cultivation," Hann explains. This development took a decisive step in 2013 when researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands created the first hamburger made of cow muscle cells. That particular cut was initially priced at a whopping $325,000.

But Haan says this type of meat will be available in supermarkets within a decade: "There will be the traditional meat option but also cultivated meat, which means a production method that will neither kill animals nor pass on illnesses like mad cow's disease, nor use up so many resources. And it will be cheaper."

Other technologies that could help mitigate food insecurity include hydroponic farming, or vertical greenhouses that would use less pesticides than traditional cultivation, and 3D design of foods and drinks developed with all the nutrients a person needs in a day.

"I know the Argentines love their barbecue," he says, but "there will be cultural changes, and they will adopt steaks made in labs. That will be a more environmentally friendly method as it will need less soil, water and energy, and will cut greenhouse gas emissions."

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The Colonial Spirit And "Soft Racism" Of White Savior Syndrome

Tracing back to Christian colonialism, which was supposed to somehow "civilize" and save the souls of native people, White Savior Syndrome lives on in modern times: from Mother Teresa to Princess Diana and the current First Lady of Colombia, Verónica Alcocer.

photo of a child patient holding hand of an adult

Good intentions are part of the formula

Ton Koene / Vwpics/ZUMA
Sher Herrera


CARTAGENA — The White Savior Syndrome is a social practice that exploits or economically, politically, symbolically takes advantage of individuals or communities they've racialized, perceiving them as in need of being saved and thus forever indebted and grateful to the white savior.

Although this racist phenomenon has gained more visibility and sparked public debate with the rise of social media, it is actually as old as European colonization itself. It's important to remember that one of Europe's main justifications for subjugating, pillaging and enslaving African and American territories was to bring "civilization and save their souls" through "missions."

Even today, many white supremacists hold onto these ideas. In other words, they believe that we still owe them something.

This white savior phenomenon is a legacy of Christian colonialism, and among its notable figures, we can highlight Saint Peter Claver, known as "the slave of the slaves," Bartolomé de Las Casas, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Princess Diana herself, and even the First Lady of Colombia, Verónica Alcocer.

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