The popularity of wagyu beef continues to spread all over the world. However, some people still remain skeptical about eating it because of the popular myths that have been circulating about wagyu beef. But before you believe any of these wagyu beef myths, these are the facts that you need to know about the product.
Too much consumption of meat will indeed give you a heart attack. Well, that is only true when you are eating meat filled with saturated fat. However, in the case of Wagyu, the streak of fat interlaced within the lean meat which is known as shimofuri contains monosaturated fatty acids that are rich in Omega-3. According to studies, foods rich in Omega-3 are good for the heart because they contain good cholesterols. In a study conducted by the Japan Livestock Industry Association, Wagyu contains about 30% unsaturated fat which is higher than the Angus beef. It is also this high concentration of unsaturated fat that gives the savory taste (umami) rich flavor of Wagyu.
Rumor has it that some ranches in Japan use beer to stimulate the appetite of the cow and massages to achieve a uniform distribution of the fat and improve the circulation. However, there are no scientific studies that support the benefits of alcohol and massages to the optimal growth of Wagyu breeds. According to the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association, alcohol and massages are not part of the standard practice of rearing Wagyu.
One of the most common misconceptions about Kobe beef is that they are all Wagyu beef. The truth is, only 0.06% of the beef consumed in Japan has the Kobe distinction, with only 3,000 cows certified as Kobe grade. Wagyu beef classifications are named after the region from which the cows are raised. The best Wagyu marbling is found in Matsusaka, Kobe and Ohmi.
There are countries outside Japan that are now rearing Wagyu crossbreeds. However, to avoid being scammed, there are only four facilities in Japan that are certified to export Wagyu beef in the United States alone. Also, the slab of beef should bear the Japanese chrysanthemum seal. But, just to be safe the best place to eat authentic Wagyu is still in Japan.