When for the first time I heard about the Wagyu beef or Kobe beef from Japan, what I understand is that beef has a special treatment. There are many stories about Wagyu beef and some of them may just as myths to increase the sales of the meat. Wagyu cattle each has a name to be noted for the where the meat come from originally, not only from the tag label code on the pinched ear like other regular cattle.
In Japan 100% grass-fed Wagyu, and most Wagyu cattle from outside Japan such as in North America are fed with the combination of grass and grains and finished on grass and herbs only. Wagyu cattle are never fed corn and most of them are certified organic.
Wagyu beef is so special because not only does Wagyu beef have higher levels on intra-muscular fat or with marbling meat and the texture is finer, resulting in a more flavoredsome eating experience for the steak lovers. A super beefsteak Wagyu is known for its marbled appearance and for being so tender. It actually melts in your mouth.
There is a myth that the young Wagyu cattle or calf are given beer to induce appetite and then they are massaged regularly, sometimes with Japanese rice wine or sake for exercising in the tight living quarters and to further accentuate the marbling meat that Wagyu is so well known for.
There were animal lovers protested to the inhuman treatment of the drinking cattle with water to increase the body weight that hurt and torture the animal seriously before slaughtered. Spoiling or certainly torturing Wagyu cattle with special treatment of drinks for the quality of meat can invite more and huge protests to avoid and band the Wagyu beef in the market and more people will support to be vegetarian.
Wagyu beef is different with Angus beef although they are both known as superior beef products, and both are made up of a high amount of marbling meats. However, Angus beef is derived from one breed originally from Scotland, while Wagyu beef can be produced from a range of breeds and was cultured for the first time in Japan. It was reported that there is a distinct difference in the taste of the two that caused by “a special treatment” rather than that by “the genetic diversity”.
It seems nature and nurture create the high quality of the beef for the sake of human consumption. Compared to Angus beef, Wagyu beef has a higher percentage of monosaturated fat and lower cholesterol, also contains valuable omega 3, omega 6 fatty acids, and oleic acid which are considered good for heart.
All domestic cattle belong to the scientific name Bos taurus. Recently it was reported by Circle A Angus Ranch U.S.A., there is a new breed between Wagyu and Angus cattle called Wangus. After 10 years research in breeding, Wangus first half and quarter-blood Wagyu bulls with Angus cows their product Wangus beef will be launched this fall 2019.
Natural and market selections in short time will test the Wangus beef in a new path to profitability whether the new breed can survive and thrive around the globe or not.
The photo courtesy of Tara Hailey, Missouri. The green grass (producer) will be consumed by herbivore (cattle) and then go to the top consumer, omnivore (human). The role of the saprovore, decomposer (earthworms and the beneficial soil microbes) is essential in sustainable farming systems to maintain the soil fertility and productivity.