When Is Wagyu Not Wagyu Beef?

Not all Wagyu you see for sale online or in the marketplace is the same.

Wasatch Wagyu is 100 percent full blood rare breed Japanese Wagyu. It is not cross bred. It is one singular rare breed of cattle. We trace the bloodlines of our cattle and can provide that certification upon demand.

We raise our cattle in the Wasatch range of the Mountain West of the United States. They are free range cattle that feed on natural grass and fresh mountain spring water. As pure bred Wagyu stock our cattle are raised for 30 months, which sets them apart for their flavor.

Because of these facts the Wagyu we sell carries what most consider a premium price tag. We know it. We believe the quality makes the difference and that you’ll taste it when you experience full blood Wagyu in a restaurant or in your own kitchen.

Many folks looking for Wagyu online (because it is not readily available in stores) do not realize the games played by some of the biggest beef marketers when it comes to use of the word “wagyu”.

As the pictures below illustrate, what they sell they call “Wagyu” but when you read the fine print it is far from Wagyu.

As long as what they sell contains 46.9% wagyu beef they can call it wagyu.

That matters for two reasons: first, their beef while good does not deliver the full culinary and eating experience of 100% Wagyu.

It can’t.

The properties of what they sell are just not the same. It does not deliver the flavor or the health benefits of full blood Wagyu.

Second, they are charging premium prices for crossbred Wagyu products that essentially contain grocery-store grade beef, usually Angus.

In other words, it is a ripoff.

For example, look at this from Snake River Farms for “American Wagyu”:

Some are at least a little more honest. This image from Crowd Cow calls their New York steak “Wagyu Angus”. They even admit they use grain instead of grass in raising their meat. Why are there so many major online retailers selling beef this way? Traditional, commercial beef takes less than 18 months to bring to market. Less time means room for more cows and bigger profit margins:

Others go to greater lengths to paint a higher grade to their products. Here is a screengrab from Kansas City Steaks claiming to sell “American Style Kobe”.  Kansas City is in the US. Kobe is in Japan. It is guaranteed there is nothing of Kobe in whatever Kansas City Steaks are selling:

Not only will some marketers use deceptive product descriptions to sell their beef but they will force minimum quantity buys to pad their margins. Here is a vendor selling barely-there wagyu for an outrageous ultra premium price:

We believe that if you pay money for “wagyu” that you should have the full experience of wagyu. The only way to get that is with 100 percent full blood Japanese bloodline cattle.