Yes. Kobe beef, generally regarded as the finest type of beef in the world and much sought-after (especially in Japan), has a very high fat content compared to other kinds of beef. In order to achieve that high-fat saturation, Kobe cows are raised and fattened twice as long as typical beef cows in the United States. This means that the energy expenditure associated with a Kobe cow is much greater than a normal head of cattle, with related effects in carbon emissions. Raising Kobe beef puts 36.4 kg of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere per kilogram of beef, while normal cattle generate 22.3 kg of greenhouse gases. The problem is made worse by the fact that the feed materials for Kobe cows must be transported very long distances compared to the relatively short trips for normal cattle–meaning even more carbon is produced, and energy used, than normal cows. (Note, it’s not necessarily true that Kobe cows are fed on beer or sake. This is a popular bit of tourist folklore in Japan, but the classification of beef as “Kobe” depends on a number of technical factors, and beer in the diet is not one of them).
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