Japan’s famous beef

Probably most well-known to North Americans as Kobe Beef, Japan’s famous Wagyu cattle are world-renowned. The most popular Wagyus are the Japanese black, of which there are 654,000 in the country. Smaller than Charolais or Simmenthals, Waguys are bred only in certain areas of Japan and their genetics are tightly controlled by the state. Of Japan’s 47 prefectures, only 20 have Wagyu bulls.


The meat is highly marbled and in great demand for its palatability – letting producers command a premium price for a premium product. Research is underway to try to improve the marbling even further by taking vitamin A out of the animals’ feed at certain stages of growth.

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