Before you turn on the grill and fall under the fireworks glow this weekend, we invite you to catch some food technology news. This week we are part of a new alternative egg product in Japan, a costly item combining art and Wagyu beef, a new item for Just Salad, and a grant program aimed at supporting Black-owned restaurants.

Next Meat launches new alternative egg product

Next Meat, an alternative meat company in Japan, announced this week that it has developed a new completely plant-based egg alternative. The egg alternative is called NEGT EGG 1.0, and will first open as a B2B product in Japan and then be offered as B2C. Although Japan is one of the leading consumers of eggs in the world, the country does not currently have an alternative commercial egg product. NEGT EGG 1.0 components and release date were not disclosed. This announcement comes after the successful recent launch of Next Meat of alternative BBQ rib products in the US, which went on sale overnight.

Top rated Wagyu beef in Japan becomes art

Hyotana, a restaurant based in Shiga, Japan, collaborated with Kaya, a creative firm, to create a fusion of food and art that represents Japan’s rich history. For the project, 700 grams of A5 grade Wagyu beef are packaged in artwork, especially famous images from the Hokusai wood block print series “Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji”. Parts of the artwork are cut to display the bright red flesh, as described above. Once the beef is removed from the packaging and consumed, Hyotana recommends filling the empty space by placing red paper behind the artwork. Named the Art Beef Gallery, the item is priced at 13,000 P JPY ($ 8,108 USD) and can be purchased for consumers in Japan on the Hitotema Art Gallery website.

Just Salad starts the menu to support the regeneration agency

Just Salad has partnered with nonprofit organization Zero Foodprint and restorer Anthony Myint for a new menu item that will support regenerative farming practices. Fifteen percent of sales from the Zero Foodprint Salad will be donated to the nonprofit organization to help provide grants to farmers undergoing land regeneration practices that restore soil health and seize carbon. The partnership marks the first partner of the fast-casual restaurant Zero Foodprint on the east coast. Zero Foodprint Salad features a vegetable alternative with sliced ​​cheese, mint, wheat berries, pickled red onions, chips and grape tomatoes on a mixed vegetable base.

Violife and RZA start Plant Grants

Violife, a plant-based cheese company, is collaborating with RZA, hip hop artist and founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, to launch Plant Grants. This new grant program encourages plant-based food through mentoring and funding, and this year’s program will focus on helping Black-owned restaurants struggling with the effects of the pandemic. Two plant-based chefs involved in the program, Lemel Durrah and Laricia Chandler, will assist restaurants in introducing plant-based ingredients, developing the menu and transforming original recipes into a plant-based version. The $ 20,000 grants will be awarded to five restaurants that meet the criteria and applications for the program are open until July 21, 2021.