How is Akaushi meat different from other beef? What makes it unique?
JoJo: Marbling, which is intra-muscular fat, is something that makes Akaushi beef different from other beef. Akaushi has a higher instance of fat within the muscle and that is what gives it all of its taste, a lot of its palatability and richness.
The U.S., along with a lot of other countries, has a quality grade system based on marbling. In the structure of how beef is priced and how it is USDA-graded, the quality grade is based on how much intra-muscular fat is seen when the federal grader looks between the 12th and 13th rib when the carcass is split.
We know from centuries of experience that the more fat is in the muscle, the tastier the product. Not only does Akaushi beef have more marbling, it also has a better ratio of fatty acid profiles: it has a higher instance of mono-unsaturated fatty acids than saturated fat.
The system in which we use Akaushi is mainly a cross-breeding system. We somewhat “Americanized” the use of that breed by crossing it on cows that are more climate-adaptable to our area. For instance, Greg Anderson has a Black Baldy set of cows. Thanks to the Akaushi breed’s heritability and predictability traits, Greg can use Akaushi bulls on his set of cows and still get a very good product on a 50% offspring.