Alternative proteins will feed the world in the future but there is room for both this new technology and traditional farming practises "in the short term," says Dr Rosie Bosworth.
"While I do talk about a future of food largely without animals, there is a place for premium agriculture still in New Zealand, particularly high-value meat, but the world is going in a new direction."
Bosworth, who has a PHD in Environmental Innovation and Sustainable Technology Development, spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay about the rise of alternative proteins.
They discussed how much risk New Zealand's economy would be in, in a post-animal world of plant-based meat and dairy products.
"We're essentially creating the next generation of ... milk using plants so we would really love to have New Zealand playing in this space," says Bosworth.
There is definitely still a place for premium New Zealand meat "at least in the short term," says Bosworth, but she believes future generations will move away from these "niche products."
"In caveman days we ate red meat and it's taken us through 'til today ... at some point it may be a world where these niche products are just not demanded in the way that they are today."
The clean-food industry is gaining popularity with celebrity and commercial endorsement from the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson and food giant Nestlé. Bosworth says New Zealand needs to be part of the movement at the beginning so as not to miss out and be left "pushing a slightly dated model."
"We already produce top-notch quality protein for the world, why can't we also compete in this new world?"
Bosworth is not only talking the talk and has set up a plant-based milk company Evolution Meadows. She says although the product does not taste like cow's milk, it gives consumers "the same experience of milk."
"We aim it to have the same deliciousness of milk, the same creamy mouth-feel of milk ... it's a neutral delicious flavour."
Also in today's interview: Dr Rosie Bosworth talks about whether New Zealand banks are overexposed to low-commodity agricultural products and looks at the economics of premium meat production in the future.