Remember how the food police told us that if we were callous enough to eat beef, we should at least limit ourselves to the grass-fed variety. After all, they said, feeding cows grass is the natural way to do it, and before massive post-war agricultural subsidies corn-fed beef was nonexistent.
Well it turns out that claim was BS.
Yesterday the Freakonomics blog posted a great take-down of the grass-fed beef myth. As it happens, cows have been eating corn since at least the dawn of the last century—well before Big Agriculture came on the scene.
My take on the issue is simple. I don’t particularly care what is and is not the “natural” food for cows. After all, modern dairy cows are not “natural” animals, per se. We bred them over hundreds of years for two purposes: to give us milk and taste delicious.
It is the taste delicious part that influences my opinion in the grass v. corn debate. I’ve been to Latin America and had grass-fed beef. It didn’t taste as good as the corn-fed stuff we have here.* Kobe Beef, on the other hand, is delicious. And those cows are fed a steady diet of cornmeal and beer and their muscles are massaged with Sake daily.
So when it comes to the grass v. corn debate. I choose the taste of corn every time.
* This is likely because wandering around and looking for grass to eat is stressful and puts undo strain on the cows’ muscles.