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Yuan-Hsin Cattle

Historically, China has a long and complex relationship with dairy. Namely, for a long time, it was a minimal industry, as many people were and continue to be lactose intolerant unlike their neighbors across the ocean. However, they are the 4th largest beef producer in the world.

On the small island of Taiwan, herds tend to be small with similarly small-sized cows. In efforts to bolster local agriculture and reduce dependence on importation, the Taiwan Livestock Research Institute has been experimenting with crossbreeding Taiwan Zebus with Yellow Wagyu Cattle. Wagyus are typically prized for their purebred nature and luxurious raising, but have many desirable qualities that can be helpful to other breeds. The new strain of cows, first developed in 2010 (most recent information I have found comes from 2017) shows improvements to climate adaptability, sturdiness, and the ability to make the most of feed. Daily milk output is rather low compared to Western standards (only about 2 gallons a day) but it is high in milkfat, which means good dairy products like butter, cheese, and yogurt.

Those who experience difficulty with consuming dairy products typically have a better time eating cultured products like these rather than straight milk, allowing them to still get the nutrition promised by dairy with less unpleasantness.

Art notes:

This cow is depicted celebrating the Pingxi Lantern Festival, held every year in February to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

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