What is Wagyu Beef?
Wagyu beef is a highly prized type of beef that is known for its marbled appearance, rich flavor, and buttery texture. The term "Wagyu" (waa·gyoo) refers to beef cattle that are native to Japan, where it has been raised for centuries. In recent years, the popularity of wagyu beef has spread to other countries, including here in the United States.
Wagyu beef is different from other types of beef because of the way it is raised and the characteristics of the breed. The meat is highly marbled, meaning that there are streaks of fat throughout the muscle tissue. This marbling gives the beef a distinctive appearance and flavor, as well as a tenderness that is unmatched by other types of beef.
The term "Wagyu" actually refers to four different breeds of cattle that are native to Japan: the Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled, and Japanese Shorthorn. Of these four breeds, the Japanese Black is the most common and is often used to produce wagyu beef in Japan and other countries. At Generations Beef we are raising a cross breed of Japanese Brown. This breed is called Akaushi and is currently being crossed with either black angus, red angus or shorthorn.
One of the reasons that wagyu beef is so highly prized is because of the way the cattle are raised. In Japan, wagyu cattle are raised in a very specific way that involves a diet of high-quality grains, clean water, and plenty of exercise. The cattle are often massaged and brushed to improve their circulation and encourage even marbling throughout the meat.
This traditional method of raising wagyu cattle has been passed down for generations in Japan, and is still used by many wagyu producers today. However, as the popularity of wagyu beef has spread around the world, different methods of raising wagyu cattle have emerged.
In the United States, for example, many wagyu cattle are raised on a diet of grass and hay, which is different from the grain-based diet used in Japan. While this can result in a different flavor profile for the beef, it can also lead to a lower level of marbling and tenderness.
At Generations Beef we are using a process called “rotational grazing” whereby the 220 acres we’ve converted from what had been used for corn, soybean or alfalfa crops back to permanent pasture. This new pasture is where the entire herd spends their time from May-October. The soil is chemical free as we haven’t used any chemical fertilizers nor pesticide since mid-1990. We then “finish” those cattle earmarked for slaughter on a high protein ration of balayage, corn silage, shelled corn with a supplement of brewer’s yeast.
Despite these differences, wagyu beef produced in the US is still highly prized and sought after by foodies and chefs alike. In fact, there are now a number of wagyu beef producers in the US who are dedicated to raising their cattle in a way that is similar to the traditional Japanese method.
So what makes wagyu beef so special, and why is it so highly prized by food lovers around the world? One reason is the unique flavor and texture of the meat. The marbling throughout the meat gives wagyu beef a rich, buttery flavor that is unmatched by other types of beef. The meat is also incredibly tender, which makes it a popular choice for high-end steakhouses and restaurants.
Another reason that wagyu beef is so highly prized is because of its rarity and cost. Because of the specific breeding and raising techniques used for wagyu cattle, the meat can be difficult to find and is often quite expensive. This has made wagyu beef a luxury item that is often reserved for special occasions and high-end dining experiences. At Generations Beef we are working to change this. We believe healthy beef should not simply be for “special occasions” only. We strive to keep our input cost as low as possible while still maintaining the healthiest environment for our cattle to grow and flourish.
Despite its cost and rarity, many food lovers believe that wagyu beef is worth the investment. The unique flavor and tenderness of the meat, as well as the experience of dining on a rare and highly sought-after delicacy, make wagyu beef a true gourmet treat.
In conclusion, wagyu beef is a highly prized type of beef that is known for its marbled appearance, rich flavor, and buttery texture. The term "Wagyu" refers to a specific breed of cattle that is native to Japan, and is raised in a very specific way that involves a diet of high-quality grains, clean water, and plenty of exercise.
In this series of posts we will work so share as much information about the benefits of consuming wagyu beef–not simply for the taste and uniqueness but also for the health healthy benefits of consuming our beef.
Here are all the topics we’ll cover in the next 5 weeks:
- The History of Wagyu Beef in the US
- The Different Types of Wagyu Beef
- The Health Benefits of Wagyu Beef
- Where to Find Wagyu Beef in the US
- The Ethics of Wagyu Beef Production
- The Future of Wagyu Beef in the USA
As always please reach out with your questions or comments we love to hear feedback from our clients and ccustomers.