Very simply put, there are 2 main reasons for considering Wagyu beef.
It is simply the best tasting beef available
It is the healthiest beef you can consume
Approximately 3% of all beef raised in the US is graded prime. That is an astonishingly disappointing fact. 95% of all Full Blood Wagyu is graded prime or above prime. That is an astonishingly pleasant surprise. The more Wagyu that are produced in the U.S., the more prime beef or above prime beef will be available to the American consumer.
Here at Cloverdale Wagyu, we are providing American cattle ranchers much better options as well as the American consumer by offering only 100% Full Blood Wagyu. We begin at prime and go up from there. When you purchase cattle from us, you will be getting prime beef and chances are that it will be off the USDA charts in the above prime category.
The Wagyu breed has a vital role to play in the U.S. to increase the quality of red meat produced that our health conscious consumers today are forever seeking. Wagyu’s greatest gift to the American beef herd is improving overall meat quality for the consumer with every live animal that is added to the current American beef herd.
The unique taste and tenderness of highly marbled Wagyu beef makes for an unrivalled eating experience. That is why Wagyu beef is finding its way into the repertoires of the greatest chefs and fine restaurants across the US.
Not only is it a gastronomic delight, but it’s healthy for you too. Health experts have discovered the mono-unsaturated to saturated fat ratio is higher in Wagyu than in any other beef and, the saturated fat contained in Wagyu is different. Forty percent is in a version called stearic acid, which is regarded as having a minimal impact in raising cholesterol levels. The profile of marbled Wagyu beef is more beneficial and healthier to human health.
Wagyu is also higher in a type of fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Wagyu beef contain the highest amount of CLA per gram of any foodstuff – about 30% more than other beef breeds – due to higher linoleic acid levels. Foods that are naturally high in CLA have fewer negative health effects.
Wagyu and crossbred Wagyu animals have higher monounsaturated fatty acids and high percentage Wagyu have about 2:1 ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fatty acids are healthier than saturated fats. Wagyu fat has a better flavor and a lower melting point than fat in common breeds of beef cattle.
There are several health benefits that stem from IMF, or Intramuscular Fat. This is the white lacy fat or marbling found throughout the red part of the meat. Marbling is where you find the Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA) in the beef. Monounsaturated Fat, commonly found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts, is considered the healthy type of fat that contains essential fatty acids and nutrients. In fact, 100% Fullbood Wagyu Beef contains higher concentrations of MUFAs and Oleic Acid (Omega-9 Fatty Acid) than Wild Caught Salmon.
Chart courtesy of Lone Mountain Cattle Company
The marbling in Wagyu beef is also rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce. These fatty acids can help protect your body against things like heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s.
Wagyu are fed slowly, allowing them to gain weight naturally and steadily, promoting the delicate marbling. Their feed is composed of high quality whole grains, vegetarian protein, and forage (as opposed to sugars and simple carbohydrates like most conventional cattle). Grain is a critical element of their ration for the development of marbling. Traditionally, no hormones or antibiotics are fed to Wagyu.
Chart courtesy of Lone Mountain Cattle Company
Why other cattle breeds are benefited by Wagyu
For the American (and international) rancher, Wagyu genetics can potentially improve the quality level of almost every kind of beef. Our belief is that Wagyu plays an important role in increasing the general quality of American beef.
Cloverdale Wagyu believes that infusing Wagyu into other breeds improves the meat quality and dollar value to each cattle producer. Wagyu can be mated with almost any breed to improve quality grades. Marbling and tenderness are the most reliable components of meat taste and the main criteria determining quality grade and price of a carcass.
According to anecdotal evidence, approximately 90 percent of F1 production will grade 5, 6 or 7. In other words, 90 percent of the F1’s – if fed for 400-450 days – will grade Prime or High Prime. Of course, the final results are highly dependent on variables such as feeding and breeding and no published numbers are available to prove these beliefs. It is possible for 95 percent of Fullblood Wagyu – if fed for 400-450 days – to grade 7, 8, 9, or 10 on the Japanese grading chart. On occasion, Fullblood carcasses will grade 11 or 12. These numbers are off the American grading chart!
Wagyu bulls have excellent libido and are superior to other breeds for calving ease. Breeding Wagyu bulls to first calf heifers saves money and veterinary bills and results in heifers breeding back earlier. Half Wagyu progeny can bring a premium price at weaning.
Wagyu cattle offer:
- Calving ease
- Generous ribeye size
- Finer meat texture
- No excessive back fat
- Wagyu are very fertile: bulls have a high servicing capacity at a young age, and heifers reach sexual maturity at a young age
- Wagyu cattle have docile temperaments and are easy to handle and move
- The breed is hardy and adaptive to different environments. Wagyu are being raised across the United States with ease.