But what about the fat in Wagyu!
Written by John Dawkins – Owner Melaleuka Farm, Western Australia
“Our journey into Wagyu cattle began due to (my father) Professor Dawkins’ interest in the healthier fat found in Japanese beef. Having long focussed on understanding the genetics of human health and disease directly, the next step was to understand the second most important factor in human health: our diet.
Already being cattle farmers made beef the obvious place to start but it was also a great candidate being both a strongly desired, premium product and part of an interesting health debate. The recent approach to providing healthy beef has simply been to produce meat with very little fat. For us, this is unacceptable as it is removing what provides the great taste and satisfaction of eating good beef.
Our mission was clear: learn how to produce delicious beef with healthier fat so that people do not need to reduce the quality of beef that they consume. As we began to understand more about the deposition and desaturation of fat we realised that Japanese genetics allowed the rare combination of getting tastier and healthier simultaneously. As Wagyu beef gains more intramuscular fat (marbling), it also gains a higher proportion of oleic acid in its fatty acid profile. In other words, as the quality and taste improves it also becomes more like olive oil!
Japanese Black is the breed of Wagyu that everyone knows well (which includes brands like Kobe beef for example) but there are actually 4 breeds of Wagyu beef cattle in Japan. Our focus is on the lesser known Akaushi breed (also known as Japanese Brown or Red Wagyu) as it has superior muscling and faster growth without losing the ability to marble and produce healthier beef. We now have one of the largest herds of full blood Akaushi in the country and use our stud bulls over both our commercial and stud herds so, although we only market our premium range as Wagyu, all of our beef actually has minimum of 50% Wagyu content.
Akaushi cattle originate from the Kumamoto prefecture and have shown the potential to marble well on grass on the slopes of a volcano at Mt Aso. A current project for us is to produce highly marbled beef from grass-fed animals efficiently (as it is currently very slow and expensive).
At Melaleuka Farm we have a focus on regenerative farming practices. We rotationally graze, minimise our use of fertiliser/inputs/tillage and aim for a good diversity of perennial pastures. We make all of our own hay/silage and produce both grass and grain fed beef.
We are very excited to be able to offer our premium Akaushi beef direct from our farm to you and your family through the wonderful folk at Matters of Taste.”
Ordering for our WA Produce Boxes opens Monday’s at midday and closes Wednesday at 8.00pm. More details from this link…