Is All Wagyu Beef Grass Fed


The four current breeds of Wagyu cattle are not “fullblood” or “purebred,” but rather the result of a cross between native Japanese cattle and imported Korean, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Devon, Shorthorn, and Simmental cattle between 1868 and 1910.

These grass-eating working herds gained greater health, stamina, longevity, genetic vigor, and strength as a result of this cross-breeding.

Due to the Japanese Buddhist belief that humans could be reincarnated as animals and the Shinto belief that dead animals left the body with impurities, for many centuries, the eating of meat from four-legged animals including Wagyu beef cattle was illegal with the Japanese population eating fish as its main source of protein.

It was only due to food shortages and near-famine conditions in post-war Japan and the introduction of beef to school children by the American occupying forces who introduced a school program that the specific breeding of Wagyu Beef for food came into popularity.

In the 1970s, Japan’s economy was experiencing rapid growth and globalization, leading to a growing demand for wagyu and consequently rising domestic prices.

The Japanese government recognized the special qualities and value of Japanese Wagyu to its rural economy, banned its export until 2012, and designated Japanese Wagyu as a national treasure due to strong domestic demand and a very high price of wagyu beef in a booming Japanese economy.

Wagyu is graded by yield and meat quality. The highest quality grade, “5”, indicates that the beef has the best marbling, color, texture, and fat quality; “A” is the highest yield grade, indicating how much beef is extracted from the cattle.

Additionally, Wagyu is scored using the Beef Model Score (BMS), which has a range of 3 to 12.


Purebred Wagyu cattle and embryos were being shipped to America, Australia, and Britain during the prosperous 1970s to early 1990s. As a result, the price of Wagyu beef skyrocketed worldwide.

The introduction of the Wagyu and Australian Angus crossbreed known as “Wangus” and subsequent successes in America, Australia, and Britain marked the beginning of purebred Wagyu crossbreeding with other cattle.

In Britain, Wagyu and Aberdeen cross, and in America, American Wagyu

Nowadays, the majority of wagyu consumed worldwide is made up of Australian and American wagyu.

Although American and Australian producers pose the greatest threat to Japanese-raised wagyu cattle, many Japanese gourmet wagyu steak enthusiasts would scoff at the disparity in marbling between these crossbreds and Japanese purebreds.

How do you pronounce “Wagyu”?

The phonetic spelling of Wagyu is wāɡyo͞o, pronounced “waa-gyoo.”