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food / travel

Why Argentina's Famous Beef Has Gotten So Fatty

Argentine laws set a minimum weight for slaughtered cattle, forcing farmers to produce 'fattened' beef, but meat eaters are not so keen.

Meat handing in an Argentinian slaughter house
Meat handing in an Argentinian slaughter house
Lucas Villamil

BUENOS AIRES Few things are as easy to spot for an Argentinian as a cut of meat with excess fat on it. We are experts at looking for the right pieces, not too fatty nor too lean, and expect the butcher to work magic with his (or her) knife, to ensure that later on the cook gets a round of applause. Paradoxically, current policies on slaughter conspire against the perfect cut, generating excess fat on beef and undermining profitability in the production chain.

Initially, "animals make more meat than fat," says Gustavo Sueldo, a consultant to the feedlot business, but at the end, "the proportion is inverse and for every added kilogram, 70% is fat. There are a lot of females today that would be slaughtered at 270 kilograms, but producers are being forced to reach 310 kilograms, which raises costs and adds a lot of fat." Customers, he says, respond negatively to this excess fat, concentrated between the meat and rib, and butchers are asked to remove it from cuts.

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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