Wagyu is a Japanese beef cattle breed derived from native Asian cattle. WAGU refers to ALL Japanese beef cattle where Wa means Japanese and GYU means cow.
Jon Urbana‘s grandfather made international headlines back in the 70s. He helped Japan establish early dairy programs which hadn’t existed previously in Japan. He snagged up several 747’s which were used to transport a small herd of dairy cattle from the US to Japan. The program was so significant that the Emperor greeted the flights when they arrived.
It was at that time that Urbana’s grandfather tried Wagyu beef for the first time. It was nothing like he had tasted before. The taste ignited a passion which later resulted in Urbana’s grandfather bringing Wagyu back to the States. He established himself as the first farmer to host a herd of Wagyu cows and was the first step to pave the way for KOW Steaks.
What is Wagyu Beef?
Unlike conventional cattle, Wagyu cows are allowed to graze outdoors on pastures and are only brought inside during feeding time. Moreover, they are given individual names and plenty of space to roam in their pens. Consequently, their life is stress-free and the meat is naturally tender and delicious. Its genetic differentiation into the Wagyu genetic strain was estimated at 35,000 years ago. Japanese Polled cattle and Japanese Shorthorn cattle are not bred outside of Japan.
The price of Wagyu meat is dependent on its quality and marbling. While the meat produced from these cattle is tender, it is very expensive. Some beef can fetch up to $200 per pound. However, the cost of Wagyu depends on its origin. The first Wagyu cattle were imported to Japan by Morris Whitney in the second century. Their origin dates back to the second century when they were used to working the rice paddies.
Although Japanese beef has a reputation for being exceptionally tender and succulent, there are a few differences between Japanese and Western Wagyu cattle. Olive Wagyu cattle have been bred to eat strange diets of oil by-products. They are not as highly marbled as Wagyu, but they’re still considered the highest grade. You can even find an Olive version of Wagyu if you’re in the mood for a fatty steak.
A single serving of Wagyu can cost as much as $19 for a pound. However, you can expect to pay twice as much for a double pound of beef, and the quality of this cut will match that of its Japanese counterpart. The American Wagyu Association was established in 1990 to promote humane Wagyu cattle practices. While the Japanese Wagyu cattle are subject to strict quality standards, there are no regulations in the US.
Japanese Wagyu beef is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. It also has the lowest cholesterol levels among all beef. It is, therefore, a great choice for people with a high cholesterol level. In addition, it has a more palatable taste and is more tender than other types of beef. You’ll find it difficult to resist it once you start tasting it. However, it is worth the extra money for the quality of the meat.
Traditionally, the Japanese were not allowed to eat meat from four-legged animals. This practice was illegal, and Japanese Buddhists believed that humans could reincarnate as animals. Shinto Buddhism held that dead animals had impurities in their bodies. Despite the ban on exporting Wagyu beef, it is still one of the most expensive beef in the world. Wagyu Beef also has a long history in Japan.