Akaushi beef healthy, but pricey

Health benefits outweigh cost for some

SAN ANTONIO - Akaushi is served at some of the finer restaurants around the country like Bohanan's in San Antonio, but it's also found at a few retail locations. Bolner's meat market on South Flores is one of two places in San Antonio.

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"There's not a bad cut of meat off this animal," said Joe Doria, market manager for Bolner's, who said customer feedback has been positive from day one.

"People love the buttery flavor," said Doria. "That's what makes it different than the regular prime beef. It's got a buttery flavor, it's got a really good aftertaste and it cuts good."

One hundred percent of the cattle grades at prime but the quality extends to what you cannot see.

"We have a positive ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fatty acids," said Jordan Beeman, president of Heartbrand Beef, which owns the rance that the original 11 Akaushi cattle lived on. "So basically what that means is we have more of the good fat than the bad fat. Also our beef has a significant source of oleic acid. Oleic acid is the essential amino acid found in olive oil."

Cross breeding hasn't weakened the quality or health effects and the American Akaushi Association formed three years ago in hopes of spreading the breed and the benefits.

"From obesity to coronary issues to diabetes to cholesterol levels," said Bubba Bain, the association president. "All that's been proven through our research and we think we're going to be a big factor in the future in the industry."

"A lot of doctors are actually sending their clients to us, their patients to us, to introduce them back into eating red meat again," added Doria.

Just be prepared for some sticker shock. Ground beef usually runs about six dollars a pound but ribeyes can cost $30 a pound and filet mignon close to $100 a pound.

For a list of recent stories Charles Gonzalez has done, click here.


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