Monday, February 9, 2009

beef from the southern hemisphere

Of course, we all know that Argentineans produce and eat more beef than anyone in the world. Wikipedia said that Argentina produces annually about two 240-gram steaks per person worldwide and has six steaks more standing on its pastures and Argentineans eat 68 kg-- yes, that's almost 150 lbs-- a year per capita, but my upcoming trip to Buenos Aires has prompted me to do some research on such statistics. Maybe I'm a skeptic, but my dad has always said 67% of statistics are made up on the spot, so... that's my excuse.

Is there some sort of cow overpopulation problem? Does everyone keel over from heart disease at the age of 38? Are they lazy about their food choices? Or is the meat just better and healthier in places that, well, aren't America?

Okay, let's tackle that one question at a time.

Maybe there is a bit of an overpopulation problem. Since the 16th century, cows have been enjoying and populating the land. Argentineans began exporting their vast quantities of beef in the late 19th century, and then, well, supply and demand, etc.

Well, according to the interweb at, about 2,000 people die from heart disease each year in Argentina, putting them around pretty high at number 14 on the list, but no where near the U.S., where heart disease kills nearly 24,000 per year.

Are they lazy with their food choices? Nah, I'm definitely an advocate of eating what is of quality locally. Why import Australian lamb when you've got the best beef in your back yard? And there's lots of other wonderful things to consume in Argentina, like wine! But seriously, from what I've read, the food is very similar to that of continental Europe- Italian and Mediterranean influenced with lots of fresh, tasty options, like, um, sausage, empanadas, and yerba mate! And you know they must have lots of that great Chilean produce that fills our markets all winter.

So, that leaves me with the question-- is the meat really better and healthier there? Possibly. They have also banned the use of rBST hormones in cattle and use very limited amounts of antibiotics (unlike the U.S.). Their cows are grass fed instead of corn fed like Americans, er, American cows, which make them naturally lower in fat but somehow more flavorful. Grass-fed beef is also less likely to be contaminated! The cows hang out in picturesque pastures like this happy fella...

(image source:

So, will it be tastier?
I'll report back in April!


  1. Join the Grass-fed Party.
    I love your blog

  2. this cow is in their happy place.. too bad all cows are not chilling in grass fields