How would you like your meat developed in a petri dish, prodded at by scientists in a lab?
While most would prefer their steak grown on green pastures, a University of NSW scientist says cultured meat will be an opportunity for farmers and pose 'zero threat' when it does finally hit the supermarket shelves.
"We are not talking about replacing and transitioning and converting, we are talking about adding new value on top of existing things," UNSW professor of food and health Johannes le Coutre told The Land.
"There will be a future with conventional meat, there will be plant-based meat and there will be cell-based meat. We will have these three offerings in the market. On top of that there will be blends and hybrids of any of those.
"There is absolutely zero threat to farmers. I think farmers should embrace the whole thing."
Prof le Coutre is adamant the fast-emerging product presents financial opportunity for farmers.
"There is a law of physics that basically says, 'nothing comes from nothing'. We need our land, we need our pastures, we need our paddocks. We need all of this in order to develop a supply chain for these processes," Prof le Coutre said.
"We cannot go somewhere into a laboratory and supply meat for a city such as Sydney without a link into the countryside, that's not happening.
"There will be a need for strong and massive support from farmers in order to drive many of these processes."
Prof le Coutre draws a comparison between cultured meat and the emergence of electric vehicles. Existing car manufacturers faced a fork in the road: embrace EVs as part of their future or fight it.
Japanese carmaker Nissan's fully electric Leaf has so far this year accounted for 5.8 per cent, and growing, of all the company's car sales. In the first three months of 2022, Leaf sales were 49pc higher than during the same period last year.
Similarly, for farmers, Prof le Coutre says it is always about opportunity.
"Cell based meat is going to happen one way or another and those who embrace this technology will come out as winners," Prof le Coutre said.
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