Quite simply, Wagyu (和牛 Wagyū, "Japanese cow") refers to Japanese breeds of beef cattle. Genetically predisposed to intense marbling, Wagyu have a higher monounsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio than found in other cattle, for beef that is prized for its tenderness, distinctive flavour and comparative health advantages.
The most valuable Wagyu originate from Japan. If referred to as "fullblood," a cow is a direct descendant from Japan, and has 100% Wagyu bloodlines. Along with fullbloods, we also offer our high-percentage purebred cattle, guaranteed to have 93% or higher Wagyu bloodlines.
Where does the watering down of the bloodlines come from?
When Americans first imported Wagyu cattle, they loved the quality of meat but hated the yield percentage... meaning they were not getting enough meat from the cows. Their response was to breed Wagyu with, most commonly, Angus cattle, known for their higher yields. This watered down the intense marbling that is so prized in Wagyu. After decades of this watering down, and the subsequent tarnishing of the Wagyu brand, the Japanese put a ban on exports of their cows. This means no fullblood females have left Japan since 1997, and is why we take such pride in conservation of the fullblood Wagyu cow and our close alternative: high-percentage purebreds.
As part of our guarantee that our cattle are what we claim them to be, all our Wagyu are DNA-verified through the reputable American Wagyu Association. This way, our beef can be traced back to Japan.
Headwater Farms raises Wagyu beef cattle for both breeding and consumption, at any given time typically raising over 40 head. As in Japanese practice, to promote marbling, our Wagyu is grain-finished for roughly 12 months.
HEALTHY FOR YOU
Aside from its exquisite taste and melt-in-your-mouth qualities, Wagyu beef offers a number of documented health benefits that make this succulent source of protein a guilt-free pleasure for your next celebration:
30 percent more mono-unsaturated fats than a regular cut of beef¹
There are good fats and bad fats. Mono-unsaturated fats are the beneficial ones ― just ask any nutritionist. Studies show that substituting mono-unsaturated for saturated fats can:
Reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Lower risk for heart disease
Provide essential fats your body can’t produce itself
An excellent source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids²
Our bodies are able to produce all the fatty acids we need ― except for omega-3 and omega-6. Wagyu beef is recognized for its levels of omega-3 and omega-6. Called essential fatty acids, these should be consumed in our diets because they offer:
Protection against heart diseases
Help in building and repairing cell membranes
This content is to be used for information only. Always talk to a nutritionist about your personal dietary needs.
https://healthyforgood.heart.org/eat-smart/infographics/the-facts-on-fats1. American Heart Association, 2017 “Good Fats and Bad Fats”
Eufic Organization, 2008 “The importance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids” http://www.eufic.org/en/food-today/article/the-importance-of-omega-3-and-omega-6-fatty-acids
GENETICS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
Headwater Farms Wagyu bloodlines are descended from the following families of the original Japanese Black cattle:
Suzutani: Referred to as the "Queen of the Breed", a very consistent line that combines great marbling, meat quality, size, and growth. Very deserving of its reputation
Okutani: A rare family, known to have very few direct descendants; we are proud to offer this family due to outstanding meat quality, marbling and fertility
Rikitani: Female offspring are limited in this family, which is why we believe it to be crucial to our herd. This family competes with the Suzutani for unbelievable quality
Kanetani: This family is in demand due to the trifecta of attributes passed on: growth, fertility and meat quality. After hearing that, we made sure to introduce this family to our herd
Fujiyoshi: We like to include this family in our herd because of the quality of the offspring. A high meat grade and fertility strength are added bonuses
Tajima: Our favourite, most sought-after, family. Beef with the highest marbling and best taste comes from this family. We are proud to have some 100% Tajima blood in our herd