First of all, I am not an expert on fats, foods or farmers habits. But I do know that all fats are created equal and some of them are simply used for energy, while others are said to have powerful health effects. Japanese beef is said to be well known for CLA, short for “Conjugated Linoleic Acid”, a fatty acid that belongs to the latter group. CLA is found in beef and dairy animals that chew their cud, and it has been shown to cause fat loss as well as many other important heath factors. CLA is said to be one of the most popular weight loss supplements in the world, and some believe that it can have other health benefits as well. /not so sure about that/
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a wide term which groups together a mixture fatty acids having conjugated, or contiguous, double bounds. These fatty acids arise along the ruminal process which ends with full saturation into stearic acid, a stepped pathway carried out by rumen bacteria.
So maybe that’s why beef consumption in Japan is different to anywhere else? But more probably becasue so many people respect farmers, and idolize Japanese gyu without having any chance to taste it. The beef in Japan is a nutrient rich food, and is one of the most expensive raw materials in Japan. There are plenty of expensive luxury foods that are frightening in terms of cost.
However animal fats have gained the reputation of being less healthy and mostly due to the American beef way of life. In general you cannot generalize about beef but in countries like the U.S.A for example, animals are often denied access to the outdoors, pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones, and given GMO feed grown with pesticides. When these additives enter the food chain they are mainly stored in the fat of an animal, which may be a good reason for not eating too much animal fat. There may even be a link between processed meats and cancer. /surely/
The identification of the anti-carcinogenic effects of beef extracts due to the presence of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has heightened interest in increasing the amount of CLA deposited in beef. Beef cattle produce CLA and deposit these compounds in the meat and Japanese beef contains both of the bio-active CLA isomers that are healthy, and not those unhealthy saturated fats that starve your arteries – LDL.
But Japanese gyu is very different to the gyu (beef) sold anywhere else on planet earth and it all comes down to attention to detail and diet. A way of life for the cow and in many cases Japanese tend to feed their cattle linoleic acid rich diets. There are numerous arguments about the diet and practices of farmers raising cattle. Animals fed high-grain diets and the inclusion of dietary oil along with hay during both the growth and finishing phases is said to an increase in CLA. Now add some beer because cattle particularly in summer months are quivered by temperature and humidity. This depresses feed intake so many cattle go off feed. When this happens beer is used to stimulate the cows appetite. Japanese farmers when feeding beer do they associate the practice with an increase in carcass quality and use beer as part of an overall management program. The cows and calves are hand-fed on various grains and feeds, as well as a wide range of roughages and fodders including freshly cut green grass, silage, hay, and rice straw.
For example, factors that affect CLA content of beef include pasture-compared with feedlot-finished, nature of diet in feedlot, whether the diet contained oil or oil seed, the fatty acid composition of the oil, and the other dietary components in the feed, such as proportion of grain and silage compared with hay.
Eating less manufactured and industrially processed food and more “real and natural food”, fresh from the ground, ocean, or small local farms is a sound place to start for all your food choices.
Categories: Meaty Days