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Seikou Sekimura is betting that aficionados of Japan’s Wagyu beef -- one of the world’s most-expensive meats -- are ready for a diet version of the fat-laden, melt-in-your-mouth delicacy. In the rural northern prefecture of Miyagi, the 64-year-old farmer says he is producing a low-calorie beef with all the flavor of the 7-ounce prime cuts that can fetch $260 or more at posh restaurants. The trick isn’t less fat -- the flesh of his cattle still has Wagyu’s familiar honeycomb of taste-enhancing white tissue -- but making it easier for humans to digest. To ensure the new beef, called Kampo Wagyu, has the right kind of fat, Sekimura bred traditional Japanese cattle with an even rarer variety and fed them a concoction of herbs to supplement their normal grain rations. The result is a meat he thinks can compete with an expected increase of imported U.S. steaks by appealing to consumers of high-end foods looking for healthier options. “As Japan’s population ages, consumer taste is shifting...

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