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The Kobe Treatment

 
A. Soto
Posts: 34
Location: FL
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I was watching a video on Kobe Beef production, and I noticed that there is an emphasis on luxury ethical treatment.

For instance, the cows receive daily massages and are fed high-quality meals consisting of ground apples and other fruit. They are also fed beer.
The treatment these cows receive contribute to the overall quality of the resulting beef. There appears to be a noticeable difference in the quality in comparison to non-Kobe. This is, of course, also thanks to the genetic inheritance Wagyu have in comparison to Angus and other breeds, but the value of their treatment in life is not to be understated.

So I was wondering, from your experience, does the treatment of your cattle have a positive effect on the quality of your beef? Perhaps, also, the milk that is produced?

I can only think it would be a benefit for cattle to receive such treatment. Of course, there is a cost to it. That's also why Kobe is incredibly expensive. So, perhaps, you may be able to get more money for your beef from your local buyers.

Here's the video, for reference:


Thank you
 
Adam Klaus
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There is a German saying, something along the lines of "half the milk comes from the brushing". I believe that lactation is a highly emotional process for cows, as it is for humans. Showing the cow some love during milking definitely increases their desire to give more milk to the farmer.

Cows are sacred beings, ask the hindus that have been around cows for millennia.

Yes, animals have feelings. Yes, treating them well has positive effects.
 
Chris Badgett
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Location: Whitefish, Montana
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I don't have direct cattle experience, but the argument makes a lot of sense.

Here's some takeaways from: http://www.grass-fed-solutions.com/cattle-stress.html

Stress and the adrenaline it causes in the short term can cause the chemistry within the meat to change which makes it tougher and less tender.

High acidity is caused by long term stress.
 
Eric Thompson
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Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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The goal for these animals is that half-white marbled beef -- doesn't look very natural does it? It takes a lot of effort to convince a cow to gain obesity beyond it's heritage lifestyle! It's almost like the cattle equivalent of foie gras..
I don't mind some marbling in beef but would not put effort into growing this level myself..
 
Andrew Wallace
Posts: 4
Location: Southwest lower Michigan
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Hi y'all, I wanted to share some information about wagyu beef since there seem to be some misconceptions here. There is some really good info online about the breed. The special treatments mentioned are primarily a consequence of raising a large animal in confinement as is done with the wagyu grown in the Kobe area of Japan. They also periodically feed them beer to help stimulate their appetite.

That said, the beef characteristics are almost entirely a result of the breed itself, not the treatment. Wagyu were originally work animals having been selected for high endurance on marginal feed, resulting in animals that could efficiently store fat in the muscle to use during short bursts of high intensity work.

There is nothing unnatural about the meat itself, though obviously the way it's produced in Kobe is not natural. You can achieve similar quality meat on grassfed wagyu cattle--especially red wagyu--though.

Long story short: it's the genetics more than the treatment.
 
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