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Real Wagyu Beef Made Without Killing Cows Is Officially In The Works

Wagyu beef, in all of its forms, is considered to be one of the highest-quality steaks you can find on the planet. For the first time ever, a wagyu farm is looking into putting their luxurious beef into a cruelty-free format.

Photo courtesy of JUST

Toriyama, a Japanese wagyu producer whose beef is served around the world, is teaming up with futuristic protein company JUST to create a cultured, or "lab-grown," version of the coveted cow. A recently signed agreement between JUST (formerly Hampton Creek), Toriyama, and Awano Food Group aims to develop, commercialize, and sell the cuts of wagyu around the world.

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Photo courtesy of JUST

For Toriyama, it means they gain an expanded market as they're able to produce more beef than the heads of cattle available on their farm at the same quality and a potentially lower price in years to come. JUST, meanwhile, is looking to expand their "clean protein" program. They already produced plant-based scrambled eggs and have lab-grown chicken meat in the works. Going for wagyu beef is a bold move, but if successful, would increase its sustainability and accessibility around the world.

It'll be interesting to see exactly how JUST aims to replicate the marbling a piece of wagyu steak has from using cellular agriculture techniques. The contract was just recently signed, so development is still in the early stages for this novel form of one of the world's most prized beef types.

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JUST anticipates that the first product made with Toriyama's cattle will be ground or minced wagyu, but hopes to offer prime cuts afterward.

Photo courtesy of JUST

There's no current timetable on when the public will be able to try some of this cultured wagyu, but when it does become available, it will certainly be a game-changer for not just the wagyu industry, but for all beef in general.