DALLAS (November 16, 2009) – As culinary customers across the Southwest are seeking more healthful and flavorful options of beef for their menus, Winn Meat Company has now added Imperial Wagyu Beef to its offering of fine proteins.
Wagyu Kobe-Style Beef is a very high quality, legendary delicacy originating in ancient Japan – a type of beef that is so well marbled that it goes right off the charts for prime grading in any other country. When properly cooked it, bursts with a rich, buttery taste followed by a hearty, meaty finish that lingers gently on the palate like a fine wine.
“Imperial’s quality management and value are just what we look for in what we present to our customers,” said Jamie Samford, Corporate Chef and Sales and Marketing Manager, Winn Meat Company. “The healthful benefits of Wagyu are something that make the ingredient more and more appealing for menus, too.”
Research has found that – as a result of their genetic properties – Wagyu cattle contain up to 30% more monounsaturated fatty acids than the much-praised Angus cattle. Imperial’s Wagyu cattle are fed a special 100% ALL vegetarian diet and are 100% hormone free, and their beef is higher in Omega 3 and 6. The latest research results from Pennsylvania State University were published December 2000 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers concluded that eating monounsaturated fatty acids is better for your heart than eating special diets with lean products. The research also shows that Wagyu meat can actually help to reduce cholesterol levels.
Imperial Wagyu Beef has a holistic approach to providing the finest traditional Kobe style Wagyu beef to customers who demand uncompromising standards at every level. Imperial Wagyu Beef has great taste, melt-in-the-mouth tenderness, humanely-raised, traceable, USDA-inspected at harvest, and packaged Wagyu beef to exacting standards.
The Imperial Wagyu Beef team has developed a superior production system with oversight from genetics to delivery. Their team has been in the cattle breeding, production, harvesting and meat business for 20-plus years. They are focused on producing a year-round supply of traditional and quality Wagyu beef. Their system foundation starts by having the best genetics in the world, providing melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. The Imperial Wagyu Beef team members own their own genetic Wagyu herds, ranches, feeding facilities, and harvest facilities. They also work with other superior ranchers in the U.S. who have impeccable animal husbandry skills, and share their vision and passion to do it right. IWB works with each one on the best management and animal husbandry practices for Wagyu Beef on their ranch.
IWB’s Wagyu cattle are grain fed in the Midwest at their own feeding facilities to exacting standards and protocols. They insure our cattle are fed a special 100% vegetarian diet, over a long term closely monitored feeding process. Trained technicians carefully monitor the cattle ensuring the best care is provided to each calf. By controlling the process all the way through, IWB has traceability on each and every step in their program.
IWB’s Harvest facilities are second to none. They are USDA inspected, passing and exceeding the highest food safety protocols required by the USDA and the most discriminating customers by exacting standards, protocols, and controls at every step of the way.
The History and Tradition of Kobe Beef….
Kobe beef comes from a breed of cattle called Wagyu. The word Wagyu refers to all Japanese beef cattle (“Wa” means Japanese or Japanese style and “gyu” means cattle).
Kobe is one of several regions of Japan from which Wagyu beef genetics are from. The “Wagyu beef” designation can be applied to the meat from any cattle of the Wagyu breed; it’s a genetic thing, not a place appellation or a reference to how the cattle were raised and fed. This breed is genetically predisposed to intense marbling, and produces a higher percentage of oleaginous, unsaturated fat than any other breed of cattle known in the world.
The reason for this is that Japan has been selectively breeding for marbling grade for centuries, while cattle ranchers in America relied on external conformation until just a few decades ago. Even today, carcass evaluation is a relatively new step in show judging, and only beginning to be a factor in the professional stud books of other countries.
Cattle were first introduced into Japan around the 2nd century, brought in from the Asian mainland, via the Korean Peninsula. The cattle provided a much-needed source of agricultural power, power to pull the plows for the cultivation of rice, power for the growth of a nation. The Shikoku region received the first imports, but because of rugged terrain and difficult traveling in the region, further migration of the cattle was slow. The cattle were in isolated areas, each essentially a closed population. Genetically segregated by topography, those animals were the ancestors of today’s Japanese Wagyu breed of cattle.
The word Wagyu (pronounced wa-gyou) translated literally means Japanese, or Japanese-style cattle. Interestingly, there was a sound reason for breeding the Wagyu cattle for use only as draft animals, or beasts of burden – at that time Japanese religion prohibited the consumption of beef. But all that changed when an innovative Japanese military leader predicted diets rich in beef would make for significantly stronger soldiers, and a successful campaign waged by the general’s beef-strengthened troops served to validate his point. From that time forward, beef was a mandated part of the Japanese military diet in times of war — it gave them strength.
Not surprisingly, when the triumphant, beef-fed soldiers returned to their homes and to their farms, they brought with them an appetite for beef. That appetite was a problem – Japanese elders still embraced their traditional beliefs. Cooking and consuming beef inside the house was considered a sacrilege, a desecration of the house, and was therefore forbidden.
With no alternatives and not wishing to sacrifice the beef they craved, when the young farmers broke for their midday meal they heated their plowshares over hot coals; they cooked their beef outside, in the rice fields, thus was born the tradition of Japanese “Plow Cooking.”
Recognizing their opportunity, pioneering breeders began selectively breeding their herds for human consumption. Some of those early genetic records survive till today, in the Wagyu herd book dating back to 1830. The Japanese herds were opened for limited crossbreeding from 1868 to 1910. Breeding stock of Brown Swiss, Shorthorn, Devon, Simmental, Aryshire, Korean, Holstein, and Angus, each made their genetic contribution to the Wagyu strain.
When regional variations in the cattle became greater than desired, it was decided that crossbreeding had not been beneficial, so in early 1900 the herds were closed once again to outside bloodlines. Since that time, the breed has been monitored closely by the Japanese Wagyu Registry, who meticulously maintain genetic and growth data on all cattle.
The herds were developed with the emphasis on quality – Wagyu produce consistently marbled, low-cholesterol carcasses, recognized as the world’s finest, unmatched for flavor, tenderness and overall eating quality. Very protective of the breed, Japan went so far as to have the Wagyu classified as a national treasure.
For more information, visit www.imperialwagyubeef.com.