Wagyu is a breed of cattle that originated in Japan. Now it is available from a select few farms in the United States, including JMK Cattle. We have chosen the Red Wagyu, or Akaushi, because of it’s marbling ability, tenderness, and mouth-watering taste. Akaushi typically finish out in 20-24 months, and marble well on grass, as well.
‘WAGYU’ refers to all Japanese beef cattle, where ‘Wa’ means Japanese and ‘gyu’ means cow.
Wagyu were originally draft animals used in agriculture, and were selected for their physical endurance. This selection favored animals with more intra-muscular fat cells – ‘marbling’ – which provided a readily available energy source. Wagyu is a horned breed and the cattle are either black or red in color.
Wagyu cattle were first imported in 1975 when two black and two red bulls were imported by Morris Whitney. In 1989 the Japanese began to reduce their tariffs on imported beef and that encouraged U.S. producers to produce a high quality product for Japan. In the 1990’s there were several importations of quality Wagyu. Most were black, but a few were Red Wagyu. These cattle have the greatest influence on the U.S. herd and those in many other countries.
WAGYU Beef — Delicious and Healthy
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 gourmet cooks and fine restaurants across the US.*
Akaushi beef contains a higher concentration of monounsaturated fat relative to saturated fat, which the American Heart Association notes can lead to lower cholesterol, the prevention of coronary heart disease, and weight loss. It is a significant source of oleic acid – the compound in olive oil that the USDA touts as “good for the heart”.**
Akaushi beef naturally contains intense marbling. It is generally recognized that fat is responsible for the palatability of beef, but it is actually the monounsaturated fat that is responsible for the flavor. The marbling in Akaushi beef contains a much higher percentage of monounsaturated fat than any other beef in the United States. As a result, Akaushi beef has a rich buttery flavor as well as juiciness and tenderness throughout.**
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.*
*from the American Wagyu Association
**from the American Akaushi Association