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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 17, 2013 at 6:33 AM

Biologist creates $325,000 burger

Spend money on nutrition programs

While the $325,000 cultured-beef burgers may eventually benefit the environment in terms of water, land and energy use, they will not help feed the 2.5 million children who will die this year because of hunger, nor it will they help revive the hunger-induced stunted development of 200 million kids [“$325,000 burger, all beef, created in lab,” News, May 14].

The immediate help could come from simple, proven nutrition programs, especially those that target women and children during the critical 1,000 days from pregnancy to age two. According to the 2012 Copenhagen Consensus, every $1 invested in nutrition generates as much as $138 in better health and increased productivity — an excellent return in investment.

While the U.S. government has been a leader on food security and global health, with programs like Feed the Future, the United States’ nutrition investments represent less than 1 percent of development assistance despite their cost-effectiveness.

In the lead up to the G-8 Summit, the United Kingdom and Brazilian governments will host the first-ever global Nutrition for Growth pledging event on June 8, 2013, to mobilize new policy and financial commitments to fight malnutrition.

We should urge President Obama to reclaim the United States’ leadership on food security and global health and to make a bold move: Pledge $1.35 billion from 2014 through 2016 ($450 million per year) in nutrition programs.

Let’s not let children needlessly die of hunger while searching for a better, sustainable way to make beef.

Terrence Dai, Seattle

Comments | Topics: beef, burger, food

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