Myths About the Japanese Wagyu Beef

Myth 1: Wagyu Is Synonymous with High Quality

Not all wagyu is created equally.Wagyu translates simply as “Japanese cattle,” meaning that it covers a considerable range of beef under four official breeds. Amongst them, by far the most popular is the Japanese Black which represents around 90% of the country’s cattle.Japan’s Meat Grading Association grades each wagyu carcass based on its yield from A thru C as well as its marbling, color, firmness and quality from 1 to 5, making A5 the highest possible score. Some countries, however, breed their own non pure-blood wagyu, at varying degrees of authenticity and quality.

Myth 2: Wagyu’s Fat Content Is Worryingly High

Stunning white marble streaks that give wagyu its unique pastel-pinkish hue contain largely monounsaturated fat with oleic acid, which has been shown in studies that it may reduce risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.

Myth 3: Wagyu Cattle Are Massaged, Fed Beer and Played Classical Music

On the fattening farms, Wagyu cattle are raised in barns and are given names instead of just a number.They are kept on a diet of rice straws, whole crop silage and concentrate, and allowed to grow up to about 700kg, which takes about 3 years (for normal beef, it’s 15 months).Every single cow has a birth certificate, which identifies its bloodline, so every piece of Japanese Wagyu steak can be traced back to a farm.There is a myth that cattle are fed on beer and massaged daily in Japan, but this is not true. However, they are sometimes brushed with a stiff brush to increase blood circulation and to relieve stress.


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