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If you're looking for the best in quality, taste, and health benefits, make sure you use Wagyu beef. This beef offers many benefits you simply won't get from anywhere else. On top of that, the flavor is outstanding. This is no ordinary beef. This is something amazing.
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 fatthat 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.
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.
One of the main measurement factors for beef classifications in Japan, theUnited States, and around the world is marbling. In Japan, the Beef Marbling Standard, or BMS, is a rating that is given based on the IMF percentage. It also takes into consideration the firmness, coarseness, and coloring of the marbling The average BMS throughout Japan is 5.2-5.7, and only about 0.5 percent of all beef achieves a 12. Only 100% Fullblood Wagyu can receive an A on Japan's rating scale.
In the United States, the USDA grades beef using IMF percentage, color, and fat distribution that rates marbling on three levels—Select, Choice, and Prime. If there is very abundant marbling, the beef gets a Prime++ grade. Lone Mountain Wagyu beef averages about 33% IMF, which puts our beef approximately at a BMS 4 - 5, and Prime++ USDA ranking.
How Fullblood Wagyu Get Marbling
Wagyu cattle are genetically predisposed to have high levels of marbling. In fact, they have an actual “marbling gene” that is unique to the breed. But genetics alone aren’t enough. Cultivating dense and delicate marbling requires craft, patience, and knowledge.
By taking a 3-legged stool approach, ranchers can develop marbling by nurturing their Wagyu through three key components - Genetics, Feed & Rations, and Stress-Free Environment.
Genetics play a big role in assuring the best Wagyu marbling. Breeders work to breed the best of the best together. Once the cattle are bred, breeders collect and keep data about the outcome of the offspring. This information may include statistics on the calf, the marbling of the beef from the offspring, and more. The bloodline in the cattle helps determine the quality of the marbling, so ranchers need to put together breeding pairs that ensure the best possible outcome.
Feed and Rations
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 are fed or administered subtherapeutic antibiotics to Wagyu.
The diet of Wagyu cattle starts at an early age. At the Lone Mountain Wagyu ranch, the calf stays with its mother for the first few months consuming milk. After this, the calves are raised on a blend of assorted grass and barley. Supplements for adolescent calves include cottonseed meal, barley, molasses, and alfalfa. In the later years, the cows are given grain to help ensure the perfect marbling.
Creating a stress-free environment for the cattle is crucial to the process. Wagyu require individual care and attention. Some stresses that are managed include branding, weaning, transport, dehorning, any changes in the environment or daily structure, and the weather. The current theory on stress-free environments for cattle was pioneered by Dr. Temple Grandin. The theory is that a happy cow is a marbled cow, so ranchers must raise the animals with care.