We believe the top quality beef comes from the top quality farms where the farmer understands his cattle’s needs and makes decisions based on their welfare.
As a result of our ‘feeding and breeding’ program, sought-after traits of full blood Wagyu are expressed in our Gundooee Organics herd.
Clean and mellow flavours deepen with each bite and are punctuated with just the right amount of fragrant fat – you can’t mistake Gundooee Wagyu for any other.
“When you eat Gundooee beef, you feel part of a movement of people demanding a product that, from animal welfare to taste, is done just right.”
We take a more natural and regenerative approach and let our stock graze in open paddocks on a diverse variety of deep-rooted native species. This predominantly native pasture diet allows our cattle to express their Wagyu marbling potential whilst maintaining a balance with flavour, texture, health, price, animal welfare and sustainability.
Eat Up, It’s Good for You
“You are what you eat” – a great quote by food writer Michael Pollan.
Gundooee beef is distinct because of what our cattle eat. Their diverse diet is very nutritious. On average, each cow/steer (more on terminology in the Glossary section) can put on 0.6kg per day! This translates into healthy fat in our cattle. Their fine and even marbling has high levels of monounsaturated fats and a better ratio of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids – not to be overlooked in a healthy diet.
We are looking at testing Gundooee beef for nutrient-density so stay tuned! In the meantime, click here to get geeky about fatty acid profiles in beef.
But what about the fat ?
There is a strong correlation between subcutaneous and intra-muscular (marbling) fat – they both increase at similar rates, although the marbling is determined more specifically by the genetics in a particular animal. What we try to achieve at Gundooee is to provide subcutaneous fat levels to each stockist with-in the range they have requested (the Alstonville fat range is 12-16mm), and aim to provide a marble score of 2-4. With the slightly reduced subcutaneous fat levels as a result of the prolonged drought, the marbling similarly eases back a little.
Eating quality, in particular flavour, is however not so-much about the marbling for Gundooee beef. The Wagyu industry relies heavily on marbling to determine price points from carcass to table as marbling is tangible, visual, and a fair indicator of eating quality for lot-fed beef…but not such a good indicator for slower-growing pasture-fed beef. Gundooee beef has fantastic inter-cellular fat which is where the best flavours come from – it is a much lower melting point fat, and has rich developed flavours. I am sure you have noted that Gundooee carcasses are softer to touch than other carcasses at the same temperature?
For the 15 years Gundooee has been growing and marketing our style of Wagyu beef, I have come to understand that the hardest part of my business is to articulate (and sell) to consumers this point of difference. Unfortunately, the ‘marbling’ has been ingrained indelibly to consumers as the only real indicator of eating quality, but I maintain this to be more accurate for grain-fed beef. It is true that the fat is where the flavour is, and wherever it is found in the beef body – it is difficult however to market something that the consumer can’t actually see.
So that is the problem, and the solution I maintain lies in the counter staff (butchers) and table staff (restaurants) to be able to concisely and expediently, articulate this point of difference to enquiring consumers. This is why I have gone to so much effort to hold staff talks, provide a website and distribute printed material, because you people have a difficult job and need all the help I can provide. I hope this further explanation helps, and although my rule is that I don’t allocate carcasses with consideration to either EMA or intra-muscular fat, I will take your request on board for the next kill.
Our sale cattle are all a second cross Wagyu, which means they are 75% full blood Wagyu and 25% Angus. They are the offspring of full blood Wagyu bulls and first cross cows (50% full blood Wagyu and 50% Angus). This second cross delivers a clean and mellow beef that develops between bites.
Consumers can have confidence in our product. Our meat is DNA traceable back to the farm and accountability protocols exist at every link in the supply chain.
Pastured ’til the End
Gundooee cattle graze on open paddocks for the entirety of their lives.
The cattle rotate between 500ha of grazable fields divided into 30 paddocks. On average, cattle are moved every 6 days. However, this number is not the law. It is more important to move cattle depending on the quality and amount of feed (grasses) available.
Rotational grazing is a key activity in boosting soil fertility as:
- Plants get a chance to rest and put down more roots.
Over-grazed plants spend energy regenerating leaves while root growth takes a back seat. This leaves soil more vulnerable to erosion and plants that are easily pulled up upon the next grazing
- Manure is spread equally across the pastures rather than concentrating at the same spot (usually at water trough or a favourite tree)
Read more about the advantages of rotational grazing here.
In the winter, we sow a Green Oat crop into existing native pasture – ‘Pasture Cropping’ – as the growth of our perennial grasses slows and some species go dormant. The Green Oats act as a supplementary food source during this period.
Our feeding of the cattle has proven successful so far, with cattle gaining up to 1.5kg per day during high season just on native grasses! More importantly, we find our cattle are rarely troubled with issues like bloat, toxicity and parasites that are often associated with high-input/high-output operations.
Gundooee is open for group tours, and Rob is also available for public speaking.
(In some cases charges may apply)
“The highest order of humaneness produces the best flavour”
Owner – Gundooee Organics