Is the Cost of Wagyu Really Worth It?

Is the Cost of Wagyu Really Worth It?

April 19, 2019



Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross lied: The best things in life aren’t free. In fact, the best things in life—including high-quality, sustainably raised meat like Wagyu—cost moolah. After all, Wagyu cows aren’t your average cattle, and the meats are a cut above, thanks to unmatched marbling and flavor, ethical practices, and so much more.

If you don’t want to read an entire blog article on us waxing poetic on why Wagyu is worth it, the tl;dr is, “Yes, the cost of Wagyu is really worth it; here’s the link to buy all the meats.”

If you’re interested in the why, hold on to your seat.

It’s Super Rare

If you’ve got sticker shock on Wagyu, remember that fullblood Wagyu cattle are incredibly rare because they have to be 100 percent verifiably, genetically Wagyu. Purebred Wagyu, on the other hand, has to be only 93.75 percent genetically Wagyu for the “purebred” designation. So, although there are 30,000 Wagyu-influenced cattle in the U.S., 85 percent of them are actually crossbred—and fewer than 5,000 are fullblood Wagyu!

Let it be known that all of our Lone Mountain Wagyu cattle are 100 percent fullblood and DNA certified to boot. This ties every single one of our happy cows directly to its Japanese lineage with zero, zilch, nada on crossbreeding. When you buy a Lone Mountain cut of Wagyu, you’re experiencing the most delicious and rarest beef on the market.

It’s Marbled for Your Health

With great marbling comes great expense, but we promise it’s worth it. Marbling is the white, lacy fat found throughout (not around) the red portion of your steak, and it’s known for its intramuscular fat (IMF), which makes your beef richer and creamier in flavor and softer and more flavorful in texture.

Marbling is also ground zero for monounsaturated fat, which is the healthy fat you find in avocados, nuts, and olive oil. Fullblood Wagyu has more monounsaturated fat, oleic acid (omega-9 fatty acid), and protein than wild-caught salmon (100 g). Marbling also delivers the richness of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both of which your body needs but can’t produce. To top it all off, those omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can protect against Alzheimer’s, arthritis, depression, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

So, basically, your body is begging for Wagyu marbling, which makes the cost worth it.

It’s Ethically Raised

Although Wagyu cattle are genetically predisposed to high levels of marbling, that marbling only happens in a low-stress, pleasant environment—happy cattle are marbled cattle! But happy cattle ironically require a nonconventional approach.

Our Lone Mountain Wagyu cattle are born out of data-driven breeding methods and raised on high-quality forage and grain feed to promote natural animal growth as Mother Nature intended. Compare this with other ranchers who use the disappointing conventional practice of feeding animals simple carbs and sugar so they grow faster. We don’t use hormones or subtherapeutic antibiotics, either.

We think all Wagyu cattle should be raised like this—shouldn’t this be the convention? Anyway, we’re proud that our cattle are healthy, happy, and raised in a thoughtful, all-natural way for rich, flavorful, top-quality beef.

It’s Top Rated

In the U.S., the USDA grades beef on IMF percentage, color, and distribution of fat to turn out Select, Choice, and Prime ratings. Only 5 percent of U.S. beef is graded USDA Prime, but 90 percent of U.S. Wagyu beef gets the Prime grade. In fact, steak high in marbling gets a Prime+ USDA ranking.

In Japan, square one for Wagyu, beef is ranked on the firmness, coarseness, and coloring of marbling according to the Beef Marbling Standard (BMS). The standard works on a scale of 3-12, with a score of 3 requiring a minimum of 21 percent IMF. The average BMS grade in Japan is 5.2-5.7, with less than 1 percent of beef achieving a 12, and even the best USDA Prime steak gets a 3-4 on the BMS scale.

On average, Lone Mountain Wagyu beef is 33 percent IMF for a Prime+ ranking and BMS grade of 4-5. With our cuts, you get the best beef with the highest ratings, which makes it worth the cost every single time.

It’s Sustainable

The meat industry has gotten a bad rap on carbon footprint, which is why we’re trying to turn things around by being committed to sustainable, environmentally sensible ranching principles, including:

  • Rotational Pasture System, which sustains our ranchland ecosystem and its diversity
  • Non-irrigated pastures
  • Single, 64-acre irrigated grazing pasture
  • Solar-powered fences
  • Traditional windmill-powered water drinkers

To top it all off, Lone Mountain Wagyu is delivered in eco-conscious packaging. Our thermal shipping envelopes are foam-free and made with this mouthfull: biodegradable cotton insulation and polyfill from recycled, purified cotton textiles, sent via carbon-neutral shipping.

It’s Totally Worth the Cost

Shopping for steak at the local supermarket means you're probably eating USDA Choice or Select beef, while most restaurants—even the fancy schmancy ones—serve USDA Prime or crossbred Wagyu.

You know that you really do get what you pay for, so order now for that special date night, anniversary, or promotion, or just because you appreciate quality. You’re going to be glad you paid more for more quality and more flavor.

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