Current Weather
The Spy FM

Fake Food: That’s Not Kobe Beef You’re Eating

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
April 22, 2012

An increasing number of restaurants in the U.S. display signature dishes made with Kobe beef. From Kobe steak raviolis to Kobe beef burgers, you name it, Kobe beef seems to be popping up everywhere — except it’s not Kobe beef.

Food writer Larry Olmsted of Forbes.com couldn’t help but notice the trend and decided to bust everyone’s bubble in a three-part expose of the so-called domestic Kobe beef industry.

What we’ve thought was Kobe beef was most likely U.S.-raised beef, Olmsted tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, not the expensive delicacy raised in Japan.

“You can guarantee that it was not real Kobe beef because real Kobe beef from Japan is not imported in the United States at all,” he says.

Under Japanese law, real Kobe beef actually comes from a particular breed of cow known as Tajima.

“Most importantly,” Olmsted says, “they have to be slaughtered in Hyogo prefecture where none of the slaughter houses are approved by the USDA for export,” he tells Raz.

So, how is it possible that Kobe beef is advertised all across the U.S.? While Kobe cattlemen in Japan have both patent and trademarks on the different terminology for Kobe beef, U.S. law does not recognize or protect these trademarks.

“So, we can call pretty much anything we want Kobe,” Olmsted says. “The Department of Agriculture cares that when you call something beef, it’s beef, and that’s about it.” [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

9PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

View the program guide!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center