Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, May 09, 2021

Tonight for dinner, I had a steak sandwich. It was decent, but nothing to write home about.

Perhaps next time I indulge in some prime-cut cow, I should head to Argentina, where the grassland makes for an enchanting grade of beef:

All you need to know about the quality of pasture in the pampas is that cows went feral in Argentina. You can still see them grazing pretty much anywhere there is a horizontal patch of grass, all now firmly back in the hand of man, but still with a happy grassy glint in their eye. This most docile, placid, and passive of large herbivores stepped off the boat, took one nibble at the pampas and made a run for it. It knew that it wanted to spend the rest of its life eating the pampas grass, without outside interference. And the settlers, once they caught some of the early escapees, began to feel the same way about the beef.

Eating steaks in Argentina feels like joining a cult. You find yourself leaning on friends to come visit, and writing YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND in all caps more often than feels comfortable. Argentine beef really is extraordinary. Almost all of this has to do with how the cows are raised. There are no factory feedlots in Argentina; the animals still eat pampas grass their whole lives, in open pasture, and not the chicken droppings and feathers mixed with corn that pass for animal feed in the United States. Since this is the way of life a cow was designed for, it is not necessary to pump the animal full of antibiotics. The meat is leaner, healthier and more flavorful than that of corn-fed cattle. It has fewer calories, contains less cholesterol, and tastes less mushy and waterlogged than American meat. And the cows spend their lives out grazing in the field, not locked into some small pen. You can taste the joy.

My wallet’s a bit light, so I won’t be buying a plane ticket to Buenos Aires anytime soon. But there are a few Argentinian restaurants in town, so maybe I’ll see how reasonable a facsimile I can find Stateside.

(Via Tom McMahon)

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/09/2021 11:10:43 PM
Category: Food | Permalink |

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  1. There are a number of small American farms that sell grass-fed rather than grain-fed steaks. That’s not the same as eating wild cow, I suppose, but it might help approximate it. Grass-fed beef is usually found at farmers markets or organic markets / co-ops that carry meat. (Some do!)

    Comment by Thud — 05/11/2021 @ 07:38:15 AM

  2. Interestingly, when those small family farms began to raise grass-fed cattle…they ran into a problem.

    Cattle in the US have not been selected for being good grazers for decades. Here in Argentina, there has always been constant selection for animals that get fat…on grass, of course. All cattle get fat on corn though it is not a natural diet for the animal and therefore causes medical problems.

    Thus the ranchers’ first efforts were less than optimal and their grass-fed herd may not yet be at the level they wish.

    Comment by maskow — 05/14/2006 @ 06:18:10 PM

  3. The best is yet to come from Argentine beef, then. Good to know, thanks!

    Comment by CT — 05/14/2006 @ 09:42:15 PM


    Why did Roosevelt Union Free School District become the first-and-only school district to ever be taken over by the State of New York?
    Maybe a superintendent junket to Argentina to the tune of $6,010 had something to do with it:
    The audit questioned…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 05/23/2006 @ 10:45:34 PM

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