Iwate-Gyu : Authentic Fullblood Wagyu
Iwate-Gyu is an 11-time award-winning fullblood wagyu raised in the Japanese prefecture of Iwate. This region in the northern part of Japan is known for its fertile farmland, producing a variety of fruits, vegetables and rice. With its natural crystalline water, fresh air, and dedicated farmers, the cattle grow strong in the healthiest of environments and produce the finest quality of wagyu beef.
Sustainable Cattle Farming
Iwate-Gyu is known as the most sustainable wagyu in the world. The prefecture of Iwate practices circular farming, a method where multiple crops, such as rice, and livestock are raised together on small farms. The leftovers from growing one are used to feed the others. For instance, their rice is not only for human consumption. It is also fed to the cows as a special blend of rice and rice straw.
Another aspect of Iwate’s farming cycle is the use of animal manure to fertilize the fields. This increases the amount of carbon stored in the soil, which results in an increased crop yield while also reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that would usually come from raising livestock. Additionally, this eliminates the need for standard chemical fertilizers. There are many negative assumptions about the environmental impact of cattle farming; however, when managed properly, the
cattle become a crucial element of natural farming and are beneficial to the health of the land.
Another distinguishing mark of quality is the certified fullblood status of Iwate Wagyu. Most wagyu outside of Japan is cross-bred with cows other than Japanese wagyu cattle and can only be called F1-F4 wagyu.
In Iwate, each fullblood cow must be registered under the nation’s traceability system, and must pass many regulations and requirements for certification. The use of growth hormones is not allowed, nor is any feed containing animal by-products. These are but a few of the intensive requirements; however, the dedicated farmers of Iwate take great pride in meeting this decorated standard of quality.
Known to melt in the mouth, the excellence of Iwate Wagyu is visible in its snow-white marbling that the Japanese call “Shimofuri”, which translates to “frost”. While this may seem like a high content of fat, it is comprised of the healthy fat for which olive oil’s health benefits are known for, Oleic Acid. This beneficial fat promotes fat burning, reduces blood pressure, and lowers bad cholesterol. This is
all due to the cattle’s premium diet consisting of locally grown rice and straw, which gives the beef an incomparable flavour rich in umami and a high nutritional value, especially high in vitamin E.