Grass-fed beef by way of Oz

attentive cattle

Photo by Flickr user Leonard John (Len) Matthews, used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

NPR’s Dan Charles recently reported on the phenomenon of Australian grass-fed beef spreading across the US:

So why does the U.S., the world’s biggest beef producer, have to go abroad to find enough of the grass-fed variety?

Curt Lacy, an agricultural economist at the University of Georgia, says some of the reasons are pretty simple. Weather, for instance. In most of the U.S., it freezes. In Australia, it doesn’t. So in Australia, as long as there’s water, there’s grass year-round.

And then there’s the issue of land. “If you’re going to finish animals on grass, it takes more land,” Lacy says. Grassland in Australia is relatively cheap and plentiful, and there’s not much else you can do with a lot of it, apart from grazing animals.

For the full audio and text versions of the interesting story, head here.

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