Tag Archives | beef

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Farewell to Argentina’s Famed Grass Fed Beef

NPR has a good story on the disappearance of Argentina’s grass-fed beef and the move to feed lots due to the soaring price of soybeans and farmers move to that crop from beef. The bigger problem – there is no way to tell what beef is feedlot and what beef is grass-fed as it’s not identified by production method.

This is quickly leading to an end of Argentina’s reputation for amazing beef, but Uruguay is increasing it’s grass-fed beef production, so maybe we’ll have to head across the border.

- Farewell to Argentina’s Famed Beef [NPR]

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Buenos Aires News: Edition 3

news buenos aires 300x222 Buenos Aires News: Edition 3More interesting news from around Buenos Aires and the rest of Argentina.

Blackouts Back As Heat Wave Hits Argentina [The Argentine Post]
It’s blackout season again in Argentina. Traffic lights stop working, stores and kiosks have to close their doors and discard spoiled food, and thousands of people have to take the stairs instead of the elevator. By Thursday afternoon, the third day of a heat wave in which temperatures hovered around 100° Fahrenheit (40° C), traffic lights failed to work at 83 intersections in Buenos Aires…

Are Argentina’s Cows Happy Eating Grain? [Wall Street Journal]
Argentina’s fame as a home for happy cows wandering the lush pastures of the Pampas is being challenged as an increasing number of cattle are being crowded into feedlots for the last months of their lives before being served at the table. The WSJ reports that more than 50%, and likely 70% or 80%, of Argentina’s cattle are going to be finished in feed lots within the next five years. The Argentine Post also has a follow-up story about this topic.

Argentina Cuts Natural Gas Subsidies, Raises Rates [Bloomberg]
Argentine Planning Minister Julio de Vido said the government eliminated natural gas subsidies.  The move will save the government 1.4 billion pesos ($420 million) a year. Consumers that use the most natural gas, 36 percent of residential users and 1.5 percent of industrial clients, will pay higher rates.

Argentine peso nears 7-year low on dollar demand [Reuters]
Argentina’s peso currency weakened on Tuesday to its lowest level against the dollar since a sharp devaluation in early 2002 as savers and companies opted for safe-haven greenbacks.  In afternoon interbank trade, the peso was down 0.44 percent at 3.395/3.3975 per dollar, breaking October’s 3.39 low to touch its weakest level since the devaluation of the 2001/2002 economic crisis.

Argentina halts trade with Iran [BBC]
The government of Argentina says it is suspending commercial activity with Iran, worth more than $1 billion USD.  The move comes because of differences over an investigation into the 1994 bomb attack on a Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

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Random Observations: Week 11 & 12

One nice thing about numbering all of the Random Observations is that we know exactly how long we’ve been here, and wow, 12 weeks goes by really quickly. Some of our new and improved random observations now include photos!  Enjoy…

Random Observations: Week 11 & 12

  • Spring is definitely in the air here. The weather is getting hot, the sidewalk cafes are full, trees are blooming and there are kids making out everywhere. I guess they don’t really have a house to go to, so they take to the parks, streets, etc.  Sorry, I only have a picture of the flowers, not the kids making out.

flowering tree 300x225 Random Observations: Week 11 & 12

  • This picture pretty much sums up the Argentine attitude towards salads and vegetables with your dinner. Yes, it does say “Salad Bar,” but do you see any salad?  I see a bowl of olives, but everything else is pretty much the garnishes for the meats.

buenos aires saladbar 225x300 Random Observations: Week 11 & 12

  • Maybe to make up for the lack of salad here, we’ve found that portion sizes at the stores are much smaller than in the U.S.  This picture shows the biggest possible bag of M&Ms that you can buy at the grocery store near us - the “GRANDE” bag. Compare this to what they sell at the grocery stores back home (the XXL bag is 52oz – over 15 times larger) and you can see why we have an obesity epidemic.

mandms argentina 225x300 Random Observations: Week 11 & 12

And a few other random observations:

  • There are not very many people of color here. Argentines themselves are for the most part fair skinned, probably stemming from the many European immigrants here.  There seems to be very few African immigrants in Buenos Aires, so they are more noticeable when you see them. (Something that you would never even think about in NYC because it’s such a melting pot of people and cultures.)

    The strange thing is that I saw an African immigrant on Santa Fe street selling fake watches out of a briefcase.  This scene could have easily been taken directly from mid-town New York.  What is with African immigrants selling fake watches? Is this a universal thing?

  • I’ve seen limes in grocery stores, so I don’t think there’s a problem getting them here, but don’t expect one in your drink at the bar.  They have some lemon slices, but I have yet to see limes. Even when I ordered a Corona, it came sans-lime…just not the same.
  • Happy Halloween!  While it may not be an officially recognized holiday here, the kioscos all sell Halloween candy and you can find a good number of costume parties (although it is still impossible to get a real pumpkin). I’ve heard that the celebration of Halloween in Argentina has especially picked up in the last 10 years, which is good for candy and costume sales. (Halloween generates $5.77 billion in sales in the U.S.) Plus, it’s my second favorite holiday after Christmas…
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Argentinean Beef

A lot of people back home have been asking me about Argentine beef: Is the beef really that cheap? Is the beef really that good? Do they eat a lot of beef?

The answer to all these questions is, “Yes.” Beef is definitely one of the staple foods here.  I have been extremely pleased with every single beef dish I’ve ordered. Last night I went to Oporto (which I would compare to a diner in the U.S.) and I ordered what I thought was the hamburger. For AR $20, it turned out to be a humongous steak sandwich (a very tender cut) with lettuce, tomatoes, a fried egg, slice of ham, and cheese on a large roll with french fries and a beer.  Not bad for about U.S. $6.50.

Ginger Gentile, another New Yorker in Buenos Aires, has produced a short clip on Argentine beef, which you can check out below. Some interesting facts from her documentary:

Annual Beef Consumption Per Person
China: 10 pounds
USA: 62 pounds
Argentina: 143 pounds

Bottle of water: $4 pesos / Sausage on a roll: $2 pesos

Enjoy!

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