COMMENT by Dr Helen Darling:

A recent report by US and UK-based future 'think tank' RethinkX (Protein technology to collapse animal farming within 10 years), understandably caused ripples in New Zealand, with our heavy economic reliance on primary industries.

Pointing to a principle of "Food as a Software" the authors predict a future when cows - and animal protein - are a thing of the past. Focusing on the development of technologies such as precision fermentation they suggest healthy, cheaper and more sustainable food will be globally accessible.

Some years ago, I visited a massive "protein production facility" in

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