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The term “Japanese cow” may be translated into English as “wagyu.” And it has to do with four distinct kinds of animals. Due to the fact that these cows were reared specifically for the purpose of developing their physical fitness, they have significantly increased subcutaneous fat storage.

Because the fat is evenly distributed throughout the muscles, wagyu beef has a pink appearance and a delicate flavor.

One of the most expensive meals in the world is beef from the Wagyu breed. The price of Elevated Wagyu beef, which is produced in Japan and lauded for its deep marbling and velvety texture, can reach up to $200 per ounce, and the animals that generate it may fetch as much as $30,000 apiece. But what exactly is it in the meat that causes it to be so expensive? Why does Wagyu cost such a fortune?

The lengthy maturation process and the high import expenses of massive quantities of specialized feed are the primary factors contributing to the exorbitant cost of wagyu beef. During this lactation period, every cow goes through five tons of grain. When a cow is sold at auction, it has the potential to bring in as much as $30,000 in revenue.

Why Is Wagyu So Expensive?

You may have heard, among other arguments, that Wagyu cattle get daily massages and are fed alcohol. This is one of the justifications you may have heard.

However, with the exception of a few lone farmers who seem to lavishly spoil their cattle, such stories are more fiction than truth. Those farmers are the exception, not the rule.

These are some of the legitimate reasons for the very high cost of Wagyu beef.

1. Minimal stress surroundings

Any Wagyu farmer worth their salt will tell you that one of the most important things they can do to ensure the health and well-being of their herd is to create an environment that is low in stress.

The reasoning for all of this is based on the fact that even when an animal is subjected to high-intensity activities or agitated, the levels of adrenaline and cortisol in its system will increase.

Because of these hormonal shifts, the quality of the beef deteriorates, leaving you with meat that is denser and has a taste that is less appetizing.

Ranchers who raise Wagyu cattle keep the noise level at which their cattle are used to working to a minimum in order to prevent the animals from being frightened.

Although some breeders outside of Japan have been successful in acquiring Wagyu DNA, the bulk of breeders have chosen to crossbreed Wagyu with local species instead.

2. Import Costs

There are a few reasons for this, one of which being the fact that interbreeding increases the vitality of a herd and decreases the likelihood of illness.

In addition to this, the feed conversion ratio is improved, which results in reduced costs associated with growing the animal and a better end product.

Between the years 1976 and 1997, Japan was a significant exporter of Wagyu cattle to foreign nations.

However, in 1997 Japan announced that Wagyu was a national treasure and placed a prohibition on the exportation of Wagyu cattle to any other location.

Because of this, the beef that is produced on these smaller farms is sold at a price that is noticeably higher than the price of traditional cattle.

Because no other country exercises any kind of control or oversight over purebred Wagyu cattle, Japan is the only country that can provide Wagyu beef to the most discerning of customers.

At the moment, the quantity of Japanese beef that may be imported into the United States is limited to 200,000 kg (441,000 pounds).

After that limit has been met, beef from Japan that is imported into the United States is subject to an import tax of 26.4 percent, which has a significant effect on the price paid by end users.

3. Reputation

Last but not least, and this may be the most essential point, the reputation of Wagyu beef contributes significantly to its high price.

In recent years, there has been a meteoric rise in demand for authentic Wagyu beef, which has led to a large increase in the price of Japanese beef exports over the course of the previous six years.

The exceptional flavor and tenderness of this meat are the primary factors contributing to its widespread popularity. It is possible to consume raw Wagyu beef fat and still have it dissolve on your tongue since the fat from Wagyu beef melts at lower temperatures than fat from other types of beef.

Not only does Wagyu beef have an excellent flavor, but it also has a higher nutrient content than other kinds of red meat, which has contributed to its widespread popularity.

When compared to other red meats, Wagyu beef has a much higher ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fat. This is in contrast to the general perception that red meats have a higher percentage of saturated fat.


There are around 300 distinct breeds of Wagyu, however the 10 regions in Japan that are responsible for producing the majority of the world’s Wagyu are listed below. Matsusaka, which originates in the Mie prefecture, is one of the most expensive cuts since it can only be carved from the meat of young, unbred female cows.

When prepared as shabu-shabu or sukiyaki, it brings out an extremely delicious flavor. Kobe beef, which comes from heifers or bulls that have been mutilated, is another well-known cut that originates from the Kansai area in central Japan.

The best way to enjoy Wagyu is to prepare it in a straightforward manner. Instead of masking the taste of the meat with sauces and marinades, try using less seasoning and limiting yourself to just a dash of salt and pepper. This will allow the meat’s natural flavor to shine through.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Wagyu beef so remarkable?

Wagyu beef is often considered to be among the most sought-after and pricey types of meat meals. Its extensive striping delivers a rich and velvety delicacy that is unlike any other beef from cattle grown in the United States. This beef is distinguished by its abundant striping.

Is Wagyu beef exorbitantly priced?

Exaggeration is the best word to use to describe it. Even though it is often delicious, aromatic, and savory meat that is also rather soft, the flesh is still considered to be meat. Aside from that, “wagyu” is not a very notable term by itself. The “terroir” is what really matters.

Is Wagyu certified organic?

Wagyu beef is recognized for its great tenderness and flavor, both of which have their roots in Japan, where it first appeared in the second century. When mated with Angus herds, which are raised in an ethical and responsible manner, the meat will be of an exceptional quality.

What gives Wagyu its striped appearance?

Wagyu cattle are a domestic breed that are genetically predisposed to have a higher percentage of striping than any other type of cattle. Certain feeding and rearing practices must be followed in order to produce the browning characteristic of Wagyu beef. The raising of Wagyu takes careful attention on par with that of an artist, in contrast to the normal cattle.

What is so special about Wagyu beef?

In comparison to other types of beef, Wagyu beef has a larger proportion of monounsaturated fats, as well as higher percentages of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This pliable fat has a low melting point, and in addition to producing a lovely texture, it also helps to preserve the majority of the flavor.

Are Wagyu beef worth it?

Anyone who knows how to enjoy a well-done steak would definitely agree that Wagyu beef is worth the additional cost. The marbling, which originates from intramuscular fat cells, is what distinguishes an ordinary cut of beef from its Wagyu counterpart. Wagyu meat is more expensive overall.

Why is Wagyu so rare?

Because Wagyu cattle can be maintained and bred reliably on a reasonably large scale, it is difficult to see how they might be considered uncommon. The explanation is that Wagyu is the greatest quality of artisan beef, produced in limited amounts and carefully supervised by criteria from Japan. It is the meticulous procedure that goes into producing Wagyu that makes it so extraordinary.

Why is Kobe more expensive than Wagyu?

While the location of the cattle breeding plays a significant role in determining the excellent quality of Kobe steak, Wagyu beef places more of an emphasis on the animals themselves. It doesn’t really make a difference where you are, but the cattle do. Kobe beef may be much more costly than Wagyu beef for a number of reasons, but this is one of the primary ones.