Myth: Wagyu Is All Fat and No Protein
The unique marbling found in Wagyu is one of the defining characteristics that makes this beef such a highly sought-after product. It is created by intramuscular fat running throughout muscle fibers, which only occurs in Wagyu cattle with the proper genes. Unlike regular beef, Wagyu is higher in unsaturated fats and contains abundant amounts of Omega-3s.
Diet and environment, along with genetics, are all variables that come into consideration when producing the fine marbling of Wagyu beef. Once this premium beef is produced, it is graded using strict Japanese grading criteria. BMS (Beef Marbling Standard) is one of five specific criteria considered when grading Japanese Wagyu. The more marbling there is, the higher the BMS score is graded, which essentially means higher quality Wagyu beef.
Myth: Wagyu Is Over-Priced
Wagyu beef is the most luxurious, exquisite, and highly sought-after beef in the world. There are only four breeds of cattle that can produce authentic Japanese Wagyu, all of which are raised in specific prefectures in Japan. These cattle are cared for by dedicated ranchers who pay crucial attention to every detail of producing high quality product.
Its worldwide popularity has encouraged the industry to implement cutting edge traceability. The secure grading and tracking system used must allow for genuine traceability and transparency. Once cattle are born, they can be identified via nose print and a unique,10-digit Cattle ID number, which can be verified through the National Livestock Breeding Center. This number allows for anyone to research details on date of birth, gender, lineage, breed, farm, etc.
To ensure consistency and quality, Wagyu Beef is given an overall beef quality score after it has been assessed through five, very specific grading criteria: BMS, BFS, BCS, Firmness and Texture, Yield. Grading is done through the Japan Meat Grading Association under the authority of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. The highest quality Wagyu will be graded as A5, as it must be classified Grade A for Yield, and Grade 5 in the remaining categories.
This premium product requires rare cattle with very specific genes to be raised with the utmost care, sparing no attention to detail on diet, exercise, and environment. Strict grading allows for product to be consistent in both authenticity and quality. This exceptional beef is so highly sought after worldwide because it quite literally cannot be produced or graded to the same standards anywhere in the world, making it a unique, one of a kind product to enjoy.
Myth: All Wagyu Is The Same-Region Doesn’t Matter
Japanese Wagyu is produced using four different breeds of cattle (Black, Shorthorn, Polled, and Brown). Wagyu produced in Japan must be tracked via nose prints and Cattle ID numbers, as well as go through a strict grading system.
Australian Wagyu is raised in a similar way, but cattle here are often crossbred. This means the cattle are offspring of one full-blooded Wagyu cattle and a domestic breed (most commonly Red or Black Angus). Australian grading is like Japan’s grading, however the Japanese BMS scale only goes from 0-9+, instead of the Japanese BMS scale of 1-12.
American Wagyu is crossbred with Black Angus cattle as well. Due to crossbreeding and region-based diets, American and Australian Wagyu will not have the same marbling, texture, or taste as Japanese Wagyu. American wagyu is often graded in house; this is because the USDA only recognizes up to USDA Prime. Many suppliers use their own grading system based on Japanese Standards because the quality of American Wagyu is well above USDA Prime.