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Dec 7, 2013 04:11 PM

Food's Biggest Scam: The Great Kobe Beef Lie

Food's Biggest Scam: The Great Kobe Beef Lie

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  1. But the linked to subsequent article said that the law had been relaxed and it can be imported now. In addition I thought everyone already knew this. Back before, were restaurants really calling it Kobe?

    1 Reply
    1. re: c oliver

      Yes, people did (and still do) say they sell Kobe...when in reality very few are paying for it.

      This is an old article, and I've used the info Larry posted below several times in the past.

      According to the export chart, fewer than 20 animals have been sold to the USA.

    2. True Japanese Kobe beef is indeed available in the United States, albeit in tiny quantities. On November 29, 2012, less than 400 pounds of true Kobe beef was exported to the United States. Since then, slightly larger amounts have been exported. See the Kobe Beef Marketing Association web site FAQs for details (at, or go straight to the page which lists each and every export of Kobe (; you'll see a few going to the United States.

      Having said that, almost every mention of Kobe in the United States does NOT refer to true Kobe beef. It's still a big scam, but worse than ever because you can't say there isn't any Kobe -- just virtually none. I've even seen a menu that says "true Japanese A5 Kobe" where it was actually beef from another prefecture.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Larry

        +1 for Larry.

        I have used the export chart on several occasions to prove people know, the ones who swear they've been buying Kobe sliders for $5 at the local bar. LoL

      2. This article is nonsensical. What makes "Kobe beef" special is its attributes, which are measured with great precision by labs in Japan. It's possible to buy beef, raised in the U.S., tested and graded to the same high standards by labs in Japan.

        I buy "Kobe-style" beef, raised right here in Indiana, DNA tested in Japan, every bit as wonderful as what I ate in steakhouses in Tokyo. You need to know who you're buying from.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pikawicca

          I don't doubt it's great beef, but it really ought to be sold either how you worded it (Kobe-style) or as "Wagyu".

          as an analogy, any reputable vintner outside of a certain region in France sells their bubbling wine as "Methode Champenoise"

        2. <The answer is sadly simplistic: Despite the fact that Kobe Beef, as well as Kobe Meat and Kobe Cattle, are patented terms and/or trademarks in Japan, these are neither recognized nor protected by U.S. law..>

          Mostly thank to the US lawyers for misleading and lying.

          1. This article is old. You can get real Kobe in the US now.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jaykayen

              Yep, as I and others posted upthread :)

              1. re: jaykayen

                Yes, but like realitytruthprozac said, the chance is still very low. Yes, technically you can get it, but the chance of anyone getting it is extremely low.

                In light of this, I think the article is still useful in telling people that almost every advertized Kobe beef dishes are fake, absolutely fake.

                1. re: jaykayen

                  You sure can get some real Kobe in the US now...if you can locate someone who has purchased 1 of the 19 cattle sold to US buyers in the past year.

                  Or better yet...if you can locate the 2 that were sold to the US on Dec. 11th.

                  Otherwise, you'll be looking for the 3 sold back on Nov. 13th...if it is being aged or frozen (which I doubt either of those situations have occurred).

                  Good luck to you! LoL