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David Sparks Ph.d Angus marbling
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: April 03, 2018

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Katie Ochsner is a marketing specialist for the Red Angus Association and I asked her why Angus cattle, both red and black, are regarded as being such high quality cuts of beef. “there is a little bit of genetic variation and I think that both Angus and red Angus are known to be well marbled cattle and so I would think as far as quality of beef, there is little difference between the two.” But marbling is intramuscular fat and one wonders if the fat can make you fat or may not be good for you. Think again says researcher, Dr. Brad Johnson who told me that in his research fat is not just fat meaning that subcutaneous fat or back fat, which is the same kind of fat associated with a beer gut, is not the same as the fat in marbled steak. Listen carefully: “We have done a series of experiments that have clearly shown that the cells that make up marbling actually different than the cells that make up sub- cutaneous or back fat. In fact, they more closely match up with muscle cells than they do the back fat cells. That has allowed us to try to manipulate those cells in different ways and we are always taught that marbling or intra-muscular fat is the last fat to be deposited.” 

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