FunAstrology"Who are we allowed to eat?" at Arte: Is...

"Who are we allowed to eat?" at Arte: Is in-vitro meat the future?

Created: 8/3/2022, 7:19 p.m

Die Fleischtheke in einem Supermarkt: Die Auswahl ist groß.
The meat counter in a supermarket: there is a large selection. © Martin Wagner/Imago

The Arte documentary series “Who are we allowed to eat?” raises questions about our diet and climate change. In any case, there are a number of reasons for not eating meat.

Arte is showing a documentary film series that deals with the human need to eat meat and the influence of this habit on society, the economy and the climate. There are many reasons to avoid eating meat. One of them is the awareness that livestock farming has a massive impact on the ecosystem and therefore plays an important role in climate protection.

In fact, one third of all greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the production of food for humans. It would therefore not be enough to do without a car, stop flying or save energy to reduce global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. For this, less meat would have to be produced and consumed worldwide. This is one of the findings that served as the basis for the research work for the documentary series “Who are we allowed to eat?”, which is shown at Arte.

Arte: Many perspectives are shown in “Who may we eat?”

The series consists of five individual contributions, each 32 minutes long. The two German directors and authors Jannis Funk and Jakob Schmidt take up various aspects that are related to our diet and thus inevitably to our relationship to animals. They deliberately chose the title of their work.

They don’t ask “what”, but rather “who” may we eat. One of her main questions is why people eat meat at all and how the animals they choose can actually be justified. A sheep is a sheep, i.e. an animal to eat, a dog a dog that is not eaten – at least in western culture.

Arte: “Meat from the laboratory”

In “Who may we eat?” on Arte, the authors try to present as many perspectives as possible
show topics. They describe what it looks like in a pig fattening facility, accompany animal rights activists, visit companies that work in the food industry, or talk to scientists and politicians. As different as the position of all contact persons is concrete, as a whole everyone agrees that our food cycle is based on the exploitation of nature, inefficiency and ethically shaky practices.

To back up their arguments, Funk and Schmidt interview climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig on Arte in one episode subtitled “Meat from the Lab” of “Who Can We Eat?” The American is part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which writes a report every six to seven years on the state of science on the subject of climate change. It shows the importance of our diet.

“Who can we eat?” on Arte: Why are substitute products actually so expensive?

With a series of colorful animated graphics, the film tries to make the most important data clear
close. One learns that cattle are responsible for 70 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that are attributed to agriculture. The methane that a cow produces every year is equivalent to the CO2 equivalent of driving 20,000 kilometers in a car.

Most revealing is the list showing the impact of a meatless diet. From this it can be seen that even the decision to only eat fish meat would help significantly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – namely by 4 billion tons. And even a general reduction in the total amount of meat consumed would have positive effects. In order to encourage this, the economy is already getting involved in the production of alternative products. And in this way, food production is shifting from the barn to the laboratory.

“Who can we eat?” on Arte: High prices of alternative products incomprehensible

The authors of the documentary “Who may we eat?” on Arte visited the research department of the German company “Rügenwalder Mühle”. The employees’ statements that the company’s meat substitutes, which have only been on the market for about six years, are already enjoying great success make an impression. Apparently they already exceed the sales of the rest of the production. Against this background, it is all the more incomprehensible that the vegetarian and vegan variants are still disproportionately expensive compared to real meat products.

Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t talk about that, although it seems to be an essential aspect. If the price were lowered, other people would probably be enthusiastic about it. The US company “Impossible Food”, which researches flavorings, is also concerned with the popularity of these products. The employees are convinced that if the meat substitutes tasted even more like real meat, they would work better. It is doubtful whether the enthusiasm of consumers will also extend to so-called “in vitro meat” in the future.

“Who can we eat?”

Thursday, August 4, 2022 at 7:40 p.m., Art

“Who can we eat?” on Arte: artificial meat could be the future

As the last station of their research work on the subject of “artificial meat”, “Who may we eat?” presents a laboratory in Israel on Arte. Whole cell cultures have been created here from cells of an animal. The cells multiply in huge tanks and eventually form flesh that can be eaten. “Future Meat” sees itself as a pioneer in the field of human nutrition. No more animals would have to die, no more forests cleared to meet humanity’s need for meat.

You could even feed the people who are now starving. However, this visionary idea would still need some technical advances to become reality. The manufacturing process currently seems to be far too expensive and too fragile to be able to survive on a large scale.

“Who may we eat?” on Arte: Interesting information

In the brevity of the individual articles, the series “Who may we eat?” on Arte conveys interesting information and food for thought. However, not every graphic and the numbers presented in it at a rapid pace are convincing in their conclusiveness. A less conspicuous emphasis on US contact persons would also have been desirable. Although the authors emphasize that the topic is global, they only achieve a reduced degree of internationality or even cultural and social diversity. Your contribution is therefore a beginning that one wishes for a continuation. (Teresa Vena)

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