Branding Product

The Truth About Snake River Farms Wagyu and SRF vs Japanese Wagyu

Snake River Farms (SRF) was the culprit behind “American Kobe,” the dumbest marketing ploy you can take when you play to people’s stupidity. Except, it looks like they are herding themselves into a different direction.

If you ever heard of “Kobe” beef, it was made popular by Kobe, Japan wagyu farmers (the late Kobe Bryant got his name after the infamous beef, RIP). That notoriety for that regional beef led to Snake River Farms and their bout of stupid with their product marketing of “American Kobe” (we all know the type that had that idea). Except, somehow, someway, they saw the light, and now all you will find throughout their marketing collateral is “American Wagyu.” Nice! My hats off to the cowboy or cowgirl who took their marketing in this new direction.

Photo Description: cow icon, red, round

“Wagyu” literally means Japanese cow/cattle (“wa” means Japanese and “gyu” means cow), and an American corporation and the industry is now marketing their products as American Japanese cow. Also, this is how SRF compares to Japanese wagyu (Miyazaki and Kagoshima).

I also go on a slight tangent about fat.
Photo Description: SRF New York Strip wagyu.
If you had a strip club in New York, might I suggest calling it “New York Strip.” Image courtesy of SRF.

Wah-Gyoo (or Wag-You if You Are a Sassy Influencer)

Photo Description: cow icon, red, round

You may hear an influencer say “kess-ugh-dill-uhh,” “fill-it-mig-non,” or “foe,” but do not be that type (like an oblivious “influencer”) and say “wag-you.”

Bad influence

Before I get in to it, we both agree saying “kess-ugh-dill-uhh” (quesadilla) sounds dumb, than the same goes for calling wagyu “wag-you.” To not sound like “that person,” it is “wah-gyou.” We coo, now with the pronunciation? Yea, let us mooo-oove the eff on.

When a Nice Japanese Cow Meets a Wholesome American Cow

Photo Description: cow icon, red, round

Agri Beef has some responsibility in the way they market their products because they are such a large company, so I am glad they have done a commendable job in redeeming themselves.

When a purebred Japanese cow meets a nice American cow (with a traditional papa and mama cow background), and they make babies, SRF happens (American Wagyu). What do they mean by “traditional,” I wonder what that means? I assume it means the baby cow is made with the lights off.

My January 2022 Self

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I am on the take (now, you do not have to donate directly, and you can support this site by buying some tasty AF wagyu through the links below).

I have been transparent as hell, and I will not do anything to compromise my content for a buck. Otherwise, the content produced is useless. Also, if I were financially motivated, I would let you know when I have been confirmed/accepted into the SRF affiliate program, except as of now, I am not (it took like a half-day to be confirmed). Once I do, I hope all of you can make it rain wagyu steaks for me. After all, you already can, which is why you are here reading this blog post.

Photo Description: SRF marbling compared to USDA choice, Prime, and Black and Gold grade.
On the left, your buddy who runs and workouts (lean) to the right is your couch potato cow, whoops, I mean “big boned” friend (well marbled). Image courtesy of SRF.

The Grades of SRF Wagyu (USDA Prime and Beyond)

Did you know that if you were to shop around for a bed mattress, manufacturers intentionally market different products names so that you cannot make direct comparisons. The same goes for SRF because they do not go directly with the BMS (Beef Marbling Score) that the Japanese adhere to, and they have devised their labeling (“silver,” black,” and “gold”) based on the BMS grading score.

Photo Description: cow icon, red, round

Instead of A3 to A5 grade, SRF wants to be graded on “good,” “gooder” to “goodestest’est” like criteria (yes, I know those are not words).

  • USDA Choice: BMS 2 to 3
  • SRF Silver: BMS of 4 to 5 (we good bro)
  • USDA Prime: BMS 4 to 5
  • Wagyu A3: BMS of 3-4
  • Wagyu A4: BMS of 5-7
  • SRF Black: BMS of 6 to 8 (gooder)
  • SRF Gold: BMS of 9+ (goodestest’est)
  • Wagyu A5: BMS of 8-12

Snake River Farms Steak Cuts

  • Filet mignon
  • Sirloin
  • Ribeye
  • New York
  • Flat iron steak
  • Skirt steak
  • Flank steak
  • T-bone/porterhouse

Other SRF Products

  • Beef roasts
  • Brisket
  • Beef ribs
  • Burgers
  • Corned beef brisket (Costco carries this product, and I’m thinking corn beef and cabbage, yum!).

Good Fat and Fat is Flavor

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How do you sell lean cuts of ass (rump) meat to the masses? Demonize natural fats as bad for you. This ploy is funny because if “you are what you eat” was true, and people believed they would get fat from fat, they are being an ass.

The powers that be chose to demonize fat over sugars and processed oils, yet lard (pork fat) to tallow (beef fat) has been used in cooking for centuries and is “natural” vs. the processing of massive amounts of seeds to extract the oils from the rapeseed (canola).

Photo Description: SRF ribeye steak.
SRF ribeye, the slab of beef that most can not eff up (if you are the well-done type, this is the only cut that can be cooked well done and not be ruined). Image courtesy of SRF.

SRF vs. Japanese Wagyu Brands

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A5 and nothing else is what most, if not, all vendors offer. Why? Marbling is good (intramuscular fat), but it should not be the end-all, be-all.

There is soooo much hype over A5, but there are also other grades such as A3 to A4. Except you never will see that because when people Google or vote, they are searching for the “best,” or voting for the extremes of one or the other, and nuance is lost by most. So the way I see SRF is as a nuanced and not necessarily a lesser product (compared to Japanese wagyu it is a lesser in regards to BMS tho).

SRF vs. Miyazaki

SRFMIYAZAKI
Ribeye Steak
Gold grade
(1.5″ thick)
• Avg. 15oz/$95
($6.33 per/oz)
Ribeye Steak
A5/Kuroge
(3/8″ thick)
• 10oz/$159
($15.9 per/oz)
Ribeye Steak
Gold grade
(1.5″ thick)
• Avg. 15oz/$95
($6.33 per/oz)
Ribeye Steak
A5/Kuroge
(1/2′-3/4″ thick)
• 16oz/$209
($13.06 per/oz)
Filet Mignon
Black grade
• 4oz/$49
($12.25 per/oz)
Gold grade
• 4oz/$61
($15.25 per/oz)
Filet Mignon
A5/Kuroge
• 2oz/$59
($29.50 per/oz)
• 4oz/$109
($27.25 per/oz)
• 8oz/$169
($21.12 per/oz)
New York
Strip

Black grade
• 12oz/$80
($6.66 per/oz)
Bone-in
• 18oz/$99
($5.50 per/oz)
N/A
Coulette
(Picanha)
• 2 lbs./$89
($44.50 per/lb)
• 36oz/$89
($2.47 per/oz)
Coulette
(Ichibo/
Picanha)
A5/Kuroge
• 16oz/$149
($9.31 per/oz)
Price and availability are subject to change.

Research shows that beef from Kuroge-washu contains more omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as more monounsaturated fatty acids (a.k.a. the good fats) than other kinds of beef.”

Crowd Cow/Kagoshima Farms “Melt-In-Your-Mouth Flavor

SRF vs. Kagoshima

SRFKAGOSHIMA
Ribeye steak
Gold grade
(1.5″ thick)
• Avg. 15oz/$95
($6.33 per/oz)
Ribeye Steak
A5/Kuroge
(3/4″ thick)
• Avg 13oz/$153.93
($11.84 per/oz)
• Avg 15oz/$177.62
($11.84 per/oz)
Filet Mignon
Black grade
• 4oz/$49
($12.25 per/oz)
Gold grade
• 4oz/$61
($15.25 per/oz)
Filet Mignon
A5/Kuroge
• 4oz/$69.08
($17.27 per/oz)
New York
Strip

• 12oz/$80
($6.66 per/oz)
Bone-in
• 18oz/$99
($5.50 per/oz)
New York Strip
A5/Kuroge
• 12oz/$97.87
($8.15 per/oz)
• 1lb (130.50 per lb)
($8.15 per/oz)
Coulette
(Picanha)
• 2 lbs./$89
($2.47 per/oz)
N/A
Prime Rib
Roast

Black Grade
5lbs/$255
($3.18 per/oz)
Bone-in/$449
Prime Rib
Roast

A5/Kuroge
3.25lbs/$325.16
6lbs/$600.30
($6.25 per/oz)
Price and availability are subject to change.
Photo Description: cow icon, red, round

So why buy/try SRF? Balance and moderation because Japanese A5 wagyu is the epitome of the extremes of marbling (shimofuri), and SRF is a balance.

The Truth About SRF, In Conclusion

Agri/SRF is now managing people’s expectations of what they are really getting, and the truth is that the most extreme of marbling is not necessarily “the best” in all instances. Especially if you are that influencer that I saw prepare their wagyu well-done for their tacos (that is just a waste and sad).

Photo Description: SRF tenderloin
I never think marbled (or well done) when I hear filet mignon which is why I would like to try an American style wagyu (you can make that happen with a donation). Image courtesy of SRF.

One Other Thing About Fat and Oils, and “Rape” Not Being an Ideal Marketing Word

Photo Description: cow icon, red, round

It takes an unnatural amount, about 23 kg (51 lb) of rapeseed to produce 10 L (2.64 US gal) of canola oil.

Rapeseed (seed) oil is canola (seed) oil, and the only reason I go off on this tangent is about fat. Many think it’s just bad and you should not eat it, but like the other adage, “moderation in all things.” So if I am going to do something in moderation, it will be the occasional wagyu steak to Shake Shack burger because I do not plan on going with an Impossible burgers or a chickpea patty for “healthy eating reasons.” If people think all fat is bad, then “you do you, and I will do me” (paleo and keto people love South Chicago Packing’s wagyu tallow and FatWorks range of natural fats).

Cow icons created by Freepik – Flaticon

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