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Kobe Beef: $50 Hamburgers!. Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office Ashley Seamon and Dr. Frank Flanders March 2006. Kobe Beef!!!. Have you ever heard of cattle that: - Drink beer? - Get massages twice a day? - Have their hair brushed with specialty liquor everyday?.

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Kobe beef 50 hamburgers

Kobe Beef: $50 Hamburgers!

Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office

Ashley Seamon and Dr. Frank Flanders

March 2006

Kobe beef
Kobe Beef!!!

Have you ever heard of cattle that:

- Drink beer?

- Get massages twice a day?

- Have their hair brushed with specialty liquor everyday?

Kobe beef1
Kobe Beef!!!

This is the story of the most pampered and expensive cattle in the world! A hamburger from this beef sales for $50 or more!

Lesson objectives
Lesson Objectives

  • Define Kobe Beef

  • Outline Kobe Beef history

  • Discuss the desirable qualities of Kobe Beef

  • Analyze the economic feasibility of Kobe Beef production

  • Separate the facts from the fiction of Kobe Beef


Sake- Japanese liquor made from fermented rice

Intermuscling- within the muscle

Palatability-agreeable to the palate or taste

Genetics- the science that deals with inheritance, also the study of the ancestry of an organism

Hormones- a chemical substance that is produced by one tissue and carried to another tissue by the bloodstream in order to produce a specific effect

Marbling- the amount of fat intermixed in the muscle fibers of meat

What is kobe beef
What is Kobe Beef?

  • Wagyu is a Japanese breed of cattle that produces Kobe Beef. “Wa” means Japanese and “gyu” means cattle.

  • The correct pronunciation of Kobe is “Ko-Be” as in the famous basketball player, Kobe Bryant.

  • Kobe Beef is considered to be the most exclusive and expensive beef in the world.

  • Today, there are only a few farms worldwide raising Kobe Beef, with the largest farm having no more than 15 animals.

What is kobe beef1
What is Kobe Beef?

  • The cost of Kobe Beef can range in price from $89 to $300 per pound!

  • What is called “Kobe Beef” comes from the ancient Japanese province of Tajima, now named Hyogo Prefecture, of which Kobe is the capital.

Kobe beef history
Kobe Beef History

  • Cattle were first introduced into Japan in the second century to provide power for the cultivation of rice.

  • Since the terrain was so rugged, cattle migration was slow and herds were often isolated in small areas.

  • From 1635 to 1868, the cow herd in Japan was officially closed by the mandate of the Shogun.

The desirable qualities of kobe beef
The Desirable Qualities of Kobe Beef

  • The marbling of Kobe Beef is superior to other breeds

  • Marbling is intermuscular fat that gives meat flavor and tenderness.

  • The superior marbling and other qualities contribute to the tenderness and palatability (taste) of Kobe Beef.

The desirable qualities of kobe beef1
The Desirable Qualities of Kobe Beef

  • Kobe Beef has a high lean to fat ratio.

  • Synthetic hormones are not used in the production of Kobe Beef.

  • Cattle used for Kobe Beef have superior genetics.

Facts and fiction of kobe beef


Beer is given to the cattle during the summer months when the interaction of fat cover, temperature, and humidity depresses feed intake. Beer helps stimulate their appetite.


The massaging is done to relieve stress and muscle stiffness. It is believed that the eating quality of the meat is affected positively by keeping the cattle calm and content.

Facts and Fiction of Kobe Beef

Facts and fiction of kobe beef1
Facts and Fiction of Kobe Beef

  • SAKE:

    • Some producers in Japan believe that the haircoat and softness of skin are related to meat quality. It is believed that brushing the haircoat with sake improves the appearance and softness of the animal and is therefore of economic importance.

Economic feasibility of kobe beef would it be profitable to produce kobe beef locally
Economic Feasibility of Kobe BeefWould it be profitable to produce Kobe Beef locally?

  • Considerations

    -Cost of labor

    -Demand for high-priced beef

    -Special feed availability

    -Cost of special feed

    -Availability of slaughter facilities for specialty beef

Did you know
Did You Know….?

  • Did you know that there are restaurants in Georgia that sell Kobe Beef products?

    -Kobe Steaks Restaurant, Atlanta, Georgia

    -Carrolton Kobe Steaks Japanese Restaurant, Carrolton, Georgia


  • Kobe Beef is a Japanese breed of cattle that produces high quality beef.

  • Kobe Beef is among the most expensive beef in the world because of the high quality, excellent taste, and the cost of production.

  • Economic feasibility of the beef is dependant on availability of market, cost of feeding and labor, and slaughtering facilities.

  • Wagyu is the breed of beef cattle raised in Japan since the second century.

  • Kobe Beef production utilizes some unusual production practices such as massages and beer diets.

Study questions
Study Questions

1. What is marbling, and why is it important in the Kobe Beef industry?

2. Is Kobe Beef economically feasible in Georgia? Why or why not?

3. Why are Kobe Beef cows given beer?

4. True of False: McDonald’s uses Kobe Beef as their hamburger meat.

5. If Kobe Beef sells for $100 a pound, how much would a quarter-pound of raw meat cost?

6. Which of these is not a part of Kobe Beef Production:

a. Daily Hair Brushing b. Drinking Beer c. Running On The Treadmill d. Massaging Daily

7. What famous basketball player shares the name of the beef featured?

8. Today there are less than ____ Kobe Beef farms worldwide.

9. What is palatability, and how is it related to Kobe Beef?

10. What is intermuscling?

11. Which of these would be limiting factor of producing

Kobe Beef economically:

a. Water b. Land c. Facilities d. Cost of Labor

12. Most Kobe Beef farms have less than ___ animals in a herd.

a. 15 b. 150 c. 1500 d. 15000

13. True or False: Only heifers are used for Kobe Beef production.

14. True or False: There are no restaurants in the U.S. that use Kobe Beef.

15. What breed is used for Kobe Beef?


  • Flecks or thin strips of fat, especially when evenly distributed in a cut of meat. It is important in Kobe Beef because it gives the meat it flavor and tenderness.

  • Answers will vary. Students should be able to defend their answer.

  • Kobe Beef cattle are given beer to improve their appetites.

  • False

  • $25

  • (c.) Running on the Treadmill

  • Kobe Bryant

  • 300

  • Sufficiently agreeable in flavor to be eaten. It is related to Kobe Beef because the marbling allows the meat to be very palatable.

  • Within the muscle.

  • (d.) Cost of Labor

  • (a.) 15

  • False

  • False

  • Wagyu