A nice juicy A5 wagyu steak might be the most decadent slab of meat there is, but it’ll probably break the bank. “Move over, wagyu!” says Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture. Taiwanese farmers have developed a cheaper and similar premium beef alternative. The secret? Feeding cattle sweet potatoes.
Taiwan produces 200,000 metric tons of sweet potatoes annually, but 20% never make it to market because they’re not up to standard. Throwing out the imperfect product is just plain wasteful. That’s why Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture has stepped in to do something about trashing the tubers. By mixing probiotics into the sweet potatoes and incorporating them into cattle feed, Taiwan has produced beef with marbling and taste that rivals USDA Choice beef from America. Some beef is even good enough to be classified as USDA Prime!
The Council of Agriculture’s deputy minister says that beef quality has everything to do with how cattle are raised. He says that Taiwan’s specialty beef is competitive in terms of taste because of the sweet potato diet. Not only is the beef produced of premium quality, but it offers a distinct taste that can only be found in Taiwan.
The head of the Taiwan Beef Industry Progress Association says that this beef can compete with the coveted wagyu beef from Japan. If that wasn’t enough, he even says Taiwan can offer its version of high-end beef at a more competitive price.