Sunday, April 15, 2012

US Law Allows Sale Of Impostor Kobe Beef

From Forbes, "Food's Biggest Scam: The Great Kobe Beef Lie" by Larry Olmsted:
Despite the fact that Kobe Beef, as well as Kobe Meat and Kobe Cattle, are patented trademarks in Japan, these trademarks are neither recognized nor protected by U.S. law. As far as regulators here are concerned, Kobe beef, unlike say Florida Orange Juice, means almost nothing (the “beef” part should still come from cows).
when you order "Kobe beef" here, you usually can’t even tell what kind of cow it came from – or where. Or what makes it "Kobe."

The bottom line is that the only reason there is beef called Kobe beef sold in this country is because our government lets vendors call a lot of things Kobe beef. But the reason consumers buy it is because the cattle industry in Kobe [Japan] spent lifetimes building a reputation for excellence, a reputation that has essentially been stolen.
the [Kobe labelled US] meat can come from many different countries and have nothing in common with actual Kobe beef except that it comes from cows. The argument often broached by the food industry that this non-Japanese Kobe is some sort of recreation of the real thing from the same breed of cows is also largely a myth.


  1. This is complete b.s. for someone to say that we do not have the same Wagyu cattle they have in Japan is Crazy! The Wagyu cattle were brought here from
    Japan in the 90's and they can be traced back to Japan in their registration. Whomever wrote the article above is very uneducated in Wagyu cattle (Kobe beef cattle). The American Wagyu Association is the main association for Japanese Wagyu cattle in the states. All the Wagyu cattle have to undergo DNA testing to prove their bloodlines before they can be registered. The reason the government does not regulate this is because that would be stupid and create more red tape for honest Wagyu ranchers. And if you have ever had high quality American Kobe beef you will realize pretty quickly Wagyu cattle have a totally unique flavor that cannot be archived with any other breed. And the marbling I have seen in American Kobe is awfully close to the pictures I have seen of the Kobe from Japan. I hate reporters sometimes they will say anything to get readers include fabricating stories they know very little about. Do not be fooled by this article there is Kobe beef in America - its called American Kobe beef- and it is from the same cattle they have in Japan. So they could have more supply by
    Importing it back

  2. I would like to talk to the author face to face. It way to easy for someone to slander a product they no little about. Like someone said above the American Kobe has a unique buttery flavor that can be recreated. It comes from the tajima line of Wagyu cattle that where brought to the USA in the 90's. Texas a and m and other colleges have done study's on the beef herring here in the USA and there are unique traits only found in Japanese Wagyu cattle. And guess what the Wagyu cattle we have in the USA have the same traits because they are the same cows that the Japanese have. With their limited land they exported the breed to the USA and Austrailia so they could increase their supply of the wonderfull breed. Austrailia exports millions of tons to Japan and we would to if not for the mad cow scare. We should all feel blessed to have this breed in the united states.

  3. Here's the issue.

    Kobe Beef - ONLY bred in the Kobe region of Japan. Case-closed. There is no United States domestic Kobe beef

    HOWEVER, there is 100% fullblood Wagyu beef that is raised and bred in the United States with the same type of cattle (Wagyu cattle) the produces the same version of beef. The difference is that is it bred in any place other than the Kobe region of Japan.

    Do not be under the impression that Kobe beef is the best kind of beef and you can only go to Japan to get it. Getting hung up on the title will only make you overpay for beef and miss out on the delicious version that is available in the U.S. -- 100% FULLBLOOD Wagyu beef. Do not go with half-breed (or 50/50) Kobe-style. 100% Fullblood Wagyu beef is always better than that.

    I buy online, often. Typically from and have experienced great results.