Audio: Japanese Journalists Explore U.S. Beef Industry

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Interested in learning more about the U.S. beef industry, a team of journalists from Japan visited the U.S. for a look at cattle production, presentation of beef at the retail level and how beef is prepared and served in American restaurants. Tazuko Hijikata, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) consumer affairs senior manager in Tokyo, led the team on tours of cattle ranches in Wyoming and retail stops in California. Along the way, the team stopped at Guard and Grace Steakhouse in Denver to hear about the quality and versatility of U.S. beef.

Troy Guard, owner and chef of Guard and Grace, explains that he once lived in Japan and understands how consumers in that country are deeply interested in where there food comes from and how it is produced.


Ralph Loos: To help tell the story of the U.S. beef industry, the U.S. Meat Export Federation hosted a team of Japanese magazine writers and photographers. The team visited Guard and Grace Steakhouse in Denver where owner and chef Troy Guard provided them with a kitchen tour and a U.S. beef tasting session.

Troy Guard: My name is Troy Guard of the TAG Restaurant Group, and we’re here at Guard and Grace Restaurant and we’re going to be showcasing a lot of our meats. I lived in Japan, I know they like things really precise, and they take this very, very seriously – where it came from, how you cook it, and really the care that goes into food, so I’m excited to show them today. The big showcase is our prime rib roast, how we sear it, season it, grill it and then slow roast it in the oven. It comes out so tender and juicy.

Ralph Loos: Tazuko Hijikata, USMEF consumer affairs manager in Tokyo, explained some of the other stops the Japanese media team made during its U.S. visit. She also discussed the goal of reaching Japanese consumers through the journalists and providing information about U.S. beef. .

Tazuko Hijikata: We visited the Wyoming farms, two ranches, and now we are here to cover the restaurant interviews. Tomorrow we go to San Francisco to cover the restaurant and the retail stores. It’s a great way to educate the media about how U.S. beef is produced, because they will teach consumers in their magazines. They are going to write down how producers are producing their cattle, and how restaurants serve U.S. beef at the restaurants. And also retail stores, how they sell U.S. beef in retail stores. So those are very important things we will teach to Japanese consumers through the media.

Ralph Loos: For more information, please visit For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.