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Why Wagyu?

Wagyu beef is distinctive because it is highly marbled. The fat in Wagyu beef contains a higher percentage of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and more monounsaturated fats than other beef. This soft fat has a low melting point that not only creates the wonderful texture of Wagyu beef but holds a rich unique flavour.  The higher the marbling score, the more flavorsome, tender and juicy the meat So, why Wagyu? - Because is better! 

  • What is the difference between Kobe vs. Wagyu?
    The unique flavor and tenderness of Wagyu beef have gourmet cooks and fine dining restaurants serving this meat as an incredible dinner for the discerning customer. Wagyu is a breed of Japanese cattle that, owing to some remarkable genetics, is renowned for its rich flavor and marbling. In fact the very word Wagyu translates literally to ‘Japanese Cow.’ Its most famous expression is Kobe Beef, a luxurious delicacy named for the capital city (Kobe) of the Hyogo Prefecture, where Wagyu are raised and slaughtered under strict guidelines. So all Kobe is Wagyu, but not all Wagyu is Kobe. It’s that simple. FYI: there is no such thing as American Kobe. It’s nonsense.
  • What are the health benefits of eating Wagyu?
    Wagyu beef is healthy with a higher monounsaturated fat to saturated fat ratio than other beef. 40% of the beef is stearic acid which has a minimal impact on raising cholesterol. It is also 30% higher in fatty acid CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) than other breeds meaning it is better for human health. Modern nutrition proves that the right fats are both beneficial and essential for a healthy diet. Wagyu beef conatins a higher percentage of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and monunsaturated fat than other beef.
  • How do you know if your meat is quality?
    Wagyu cattle have been exported and raised all over the world, most successfully in the USA and Australia. Often times, it’s crossbred with other breeds of cattle (like Angus.) This creates a complicated and deceiving classification system. It also dilutes what makes Wagyu so special, because the lower Wagyu genetics in an animal, the less rich and marbled it will be. We don’t like that. We want our meat to be as rich and marbled as possible. So at River Meadow Ranch Wagyu, our cattle are never crossbred. They are 100% Wagyu. Each animal is DNA-certified to show its direct lineage to its Japanese heritage. Because it’s that heritage that gives Wagyu its superpowers. The most important of which is… marbling! Marbling refers to the delicate lines of fat that curl and tendril through a steak. Marbling gives beef flavor. So it’s graded on how much Intramuscular Fat (IMF) it contains. The highest ranking of beef you can buy in the US is Prime. That’s around 10-12% IMF. There’s nothing wrong with Prime, but Wagyu can do better. At least three times better. Our Wagyu has an IMF between 28-40%. The fat isn’t just normal fat. Wagyu is full of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, those same good monounsaturated fats you find in salmon. Wagyu’s fat also melts at a lower temperature, so you get a rich, silky texture that coats your mouth with every bite. (It’s also far better for you, as the ratio of HDL to LDL is far higher than in other beef.) There are several strains of Wagyu. The Japanese tradition is to breed those different strains to create an animal with the highest quality offspring. This takes time and patience and very, very careful record-keeping.
  • What are the advantages to eating Wagyu?
    For the typical cow/calf producer, a Wagyu bull will outperform most other breeds in fertility, longevity, heat tolerance, and temperament. More important, half-Wagyu feeder calves can be sold at a premium due to the high demand for Wagyu beef. For, Large cattle operations where ownership is retained through harvest, Wagyu influenced carcasses deliver quality and yield grade premiums off the grid. For, grass fed and local beef producers, Wagyu beef is more profitable than ordinary beef. Consumers are willing to pay substantially higher prices for Wagyu. It’s all in the genes, as they say, and the unique DNA of this breed delivers incomparable taste and health benefits. For potential seed stock producers, full blood Wagyu breeding animals command high prices due to their extreme scarcity outside of Japan. We have not begun to meet the demand, thus there is room for many more breeders. Wagyu are a pleasure to raise due to their calm and pleasant disposition. “Wagyu are the most structurally amazing breed of cattle.” That might sound like a bit of hyperbole without knowing the qualifications and experience of the person who included that statement in his presentation to the assembled Wagyu exhibitors at the 2012 Houston Livestock Show. With an undergraduate degree in Pre-Vet and Pre-Med, an M.S. in Reproductive Physiology, and 18 years of evaluating cattle traits for the world’s leader in bovine genetics, Eldon Clawson believes that because of the structural advantages he has observed, Wagyu move better, breed better, and are productive longer than any other breed. Unlike other breeds that have been selected in a large part for appearance, Wagyu were bred to be functional. This multi-century trait selection for strength, stamina and agility has produced superior physical features, such as: Unequalled bone and ligament quality. Tremendous strength, a large chest, and a large rib eye area for their size. Longer chine bones and forelimb structure add to their strength; this allows for easier grazing. More flex to their joints and an ideal set to their legs, facilitating movement. Longer, wider shoulder blades allow ease of motion and aid strength, soundness, and agility. Hardest hooves of any breed reduce lameness issues. There is genetic evidence to back up Mr. Clawson’s assertions that Wagyu are uniquely built. A research project conducted at Washington State University (Decker et. al. 2009) analyzed 54,000 DNA markers to assess the inter-relatedness of various cattle. While the prominent western breeds had a large degree of genetic similarity, Wagyu were literally in a class by themselves. This study provided the scientific underpinning to Mr. Clawson’s observations. The high degree of intra-muscular fat, which gave the cattle the energy they needed for long days in the field or for pulling carts, has set Wagyu beef apart from any other. Knowing their structural advantages will make this unique breed even more attractive to the discerning cattleman who wants to profit from the growing demand for high quality beef. Wagyu cattle are known to have very low dystocia rates when it comes to calving. They are docile and compatible for easy animal husbandry. Wagyu’s genetic makeup can be considered very different compared to other cattle breeds due to their size and stance.
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