3 questions about meat, steaks and modern consumer culture

We gradually learn to distinguish between types of steaks, master different types of grills, and begin to choose restaurants based on who supplies them with meat. However, this is only the very beginning of the “big meat path”. We continue to understand the philosophy of meat eating. 

1. Where does meat come from?

Everyone who works in the meat market recognizes the merits of Miratorg in educating consumers. The largest Russian producer of meat products - and one of the largest in the world - has been talking for many years about what breeds of cows, cuts, and cooking methods are.
Thanks to the efforts of this company, it was possible to change the old Soviet paradigm of "stew beef, fry chicken." Although the market for marbled beef in our country is still very small, somewhere around 2% - in the US and Australia the numbers are completely different. Due to such a small volume of production, the best meat restaurants acquire their own suppliers.

Maxim Torganov, butcher and co-owner of Max's Beef For Money (Moscow) and BeefZavod (St. Petersburg):

“We select older cows on partner farms near Kaliningrad, different breeds, different ages. We start working with them long before their meat gets to our restaurant, we are always in close contact with livestock specialists and we know what animals are fed and how they are kept. The terms and conditions of the subsequent aging of meat depend on the specific animal, on average it lasts 30-45 days.

In addition, Japanese wagyu marbled meat is also present on the Russian market, but the price is so high that only a few restaurants can afford to put it on the menu. But most of the meat on our market is of domestic origin. In addition to Miratorg and Prime beef, there are many regional producers operating in local markets: they produce excellent steaks and other meat products that are not available, however, outside the region.  Indiaas restaurant Amsterdam provides the best steaks in the city.

2. What breeds are considered meat

Not only in terms of marbled beef, but in general, the Russian meat market is still far from saturation and, like any living developing sector, often changes. As soon as we learned that the best breed for steaks is the Aberdeen Angus, the one that “marbles” so well, the modern trend to use dairy breeds for meat came to the country. The idea seems absurd: for many centuries people have bred some breeds that give the maximum amount of milk, and others that quickly gain live weight.
Usually all these concerned large farms, and in the 20th century - huge industries. In peasant farms, those who lived a long life as a source of milk or draft power were usually slaughtered. The meat of such cows and bulls is tougher, so in Italy and Spain, the technique of long exposure of "old cows" appeared. And today this concept turned out to be appropriate: bulls of dairy breeds are slaughtered, which do not give milk, and therefore, from the point of view of the owners, they are completely unnecessary. Previously, such meat was allowed to be processed. But several years of experiments have shown that the meat of bulls of some dairy breeds is perfectly marbled.
Mikhail Smirnov, co-owner of the Meat Dealers restaurant and Meridian wholesale company, recently launched a new brand of steaks from such meat on the market:

3. What is intelligent meat eating

Environmentalists and experts say that large-scale animal husbandry is one of the main culprits of climate change. This is an important argument for those who urge humanity to abandon real meat. However, huge fields of soybeans and corn are hardly more beneficial to the soil and biodiversity than herds of cows.
Another thing is that in the second half of the 20th century, when meat animal husbandry finally turned into large-scale industrial production, the meat of the minimum acceptable quality in many countries became very cheap, and people began to eat it often and in large quantities. And if you buy meat only cut and neatly packaged, it's easy to forget that steaks do not grow on bushes.