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Health Benefits of Wagyu Beef

The genetic attributes of the Wagyu breed of cattle not only lend it to have a high degree of marbling, but also to have a higher concentration of good fats. In fact, research shows that when consumed in moderation, Wagyu is as beneficial for the human body as olive oil or a salmon filet.Although the body can produce most fatty acids, essential fatty acids and the poly-unsaturated acids should come from the diet; this is where Wagyu comes in to help you achieve your health goals. Wagyu beef contains Omega 6 fatty acids, which aid in brain function and regulate metabolism. Not only is Wagyu delicious, but it can make you smarter! One of the best sources of Omega 6 fatty acids are beef and dairy products; here, Wagyu is superior to other food sources. Wagyu cattle contain the highest Omega 6 components per gram than any other food, and about 30% more than any other breed of cattle.But the benefits of Wagyu beef do not stop there. Wagyu contains the highest proportion of Mono-unsaturated Fatty Acids, the good fatty acids, then any other breed of cattle and the ratio of good to bad fats is 3X higher than any other beef. Furthermore, the saturated fatty acids (SFA) that have been proven to be so detrimental to cholesterol levels and heart disease are also mitigated through the genetics of this particular breed. In Wagyu cattle, 40% of the saturated fats are in the form of stearic acids, which have minimal impact on cholesterol levels. It’s hard to believe that something that taste so good can also be good for you!

Dry Aging Versus Wet Aging

With the introduction of vacuum packing to the beef industry in the early 1960’s came the development of wet aging. The wet aging method involves immediately placing the cuts of meat in a vacuumed sealed bag and allowing the initial process of tenderization to occur in the bag, thereby expediting production. This initial process of tenderization occurs naturally by enzymes within the carcass that break down the fibrous connective tissues in the muscles; wet aging simply allows the process to occur while the beef is being packaged and shipped, while allowing the carcass to maintain maximum weight. At Montana Wagyu, however, we choose to dry age all our beef by hanging the whole carcass. The initial process of tenderization naturally occurs, as in wet aging, but dry again additionally allows for evaporation of moisture and the strengthening and condensing of flavor. This evaporation process which reduces the carcass weight by 15 – 20%, thus making this process undesirable for commodity beef production. Furthermore, dry aging involves allowing the carcass to hang in a room that is maintained at approximately 34 degrees with a relative humidity of 80-85% with a constant flow of air for 28-30 days. This causes delays in the production and packaging of the beef, and requires extra effort, time, and storage, unlike wet aging.However, the positive effect of the dry aging process is the concentration of flavor and juices in the carcass which gives the meat a unique, robust, richly beef flavor. It is this unique flavor which makes our beef highly prized by fine white linen steakhouses across the country. Although dry aging involves extra time and expense to the producer, it is well worth it for the pleasure of tasting beef as it should be. Here at the Montana Wagyu Cattle Company, we are committed to returning beef production back to the days of “beef on the rail”, and although we are not opposed to technology, we believe that if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I trust that once you taste our custom dry aged beef, you will wholeheartedly agree with us.