Do you know the difference between domestic and Japanese WAGYU beef?
Many people think that cows born and raised in Japan have the same meaning, but in fact, domestic beef and Japanese Wagyu beef are clearly distinguished.
I summarized the differences between domestic beef and Japanese Wagyu beef.
The difference between domestic beef and Japanese Wagyu beef
Beef that is mainly sold in Japan is classified into three categories: "Japanese Wagyu beef," "domestic beef," and "imported beef."
Wagyu represents breed, and domestic beef does not mean "domestic beef" = "Wagyu."
What is Wagyu?
"Wagyu" is the breed name of the beef that has been improved by repeated breeding based on the native breed of Japan, and shows only the following four breeds regardless of the place of origin.
・Japanese Black Cattle
Main production areas...All over Japan
・Japanese brown (Akagewashu)
Main production areas...mainly Kumamoto and Kochi
・Japanese short-horned species
Main production areas...mainly Iwate prefecture, Hokkaido
・Japanese Polled breed
Main production areas...Yamaguchi Prefecture
These four breeds and the crossbreeds between the four breeds are called "Wagyu." The cattle only born and grown in Japan is prohibited from using Wagyu in other breeds.
In addition, Japanese black cattle occupy about 90% of the breeding amount of Japanese Wagyu beef.
What is domestic beef?
Domestic cows are cows raised in Japan. Therefore, regardless of where the cattle was born or of any breed, it has been breeding in Japan for the longest period of time, and the cattle processed in Japan (meat) is labeled as "domestic beef."
Holstein, which is a dairy cow, seems to have a strong image of Japanese cows, but it is actually an exotic species from the Netherlands. Most Holstein males are unable to produce dairy products, so most of them are sent to beef cattle, but even if they were born and raised in Japan, they are not Japanese Wagyu beef. On the contrary, even if it is an exotic breed or a cattle born in a foreign country, it will be bred for a longer period in Japan, and if it is processed for meat in Japan, it will be treated as domestic beef, sounds weird, isn’t it? More than half of the cows used as meat and processed products in Japan become Holstein, and due to a large amount of production, domestic cows are said to refer to Holstein breeds mainly.
Previously, there was an exception rule called the "three-month rule" regarding the place of origin of livestock products, and even if foreign cattle were raised in Japan for three months, they could be sold as domestic cattle. However, from September 2004, domestic cattle shall be displayed as the place of origin regardless of breed, from the time the cattle is born until the time it is slaughtered, where the longest breeding and breeding period (the longest breeding place) is. Was established under the JAS Law.
What is imported beef?
Beef imported from Japan after being processed outside Japan and processed for meat.
Wagyu from domestic beef
When buying beef, we recommend that you purchase Wagyu that is specialized for eating. Because, as mentioned above, domestic cows are mainly dairy cows Holstein. It is natural that meat quality is inferior to that of Japanese Wagyu beef. Wagyu's meat is characterized by its fine texture and soft meat quality. It has a high-fat content and is marbling, and the meat quality and marbling of Japanese Wagyu beef arguably the highest in the world.
The difference between domestic and Japanese Wagyu beef is clear!
In this way, it was found that there is a clear difference between domestic and Japanese Wagyu beef and that they are clearly distinguished. The word "domestic beef" does not necessarily mean domestic beef. If you want to eat domestic beef, we recommend the one labeled "Wagyu".
Wagyu requires an elaborate breeding method, mass production is difficult, and it takes more time to become edible beef than ordinary beef so that the price will be high. Still, domestic beef and Wagyu The difference is obvious when you eat.