It's been a while since I've posted one of my little off-topic rants (I tend to gravitate to religion and politics, the two subjects you're not supposed to broach in polite company), but today there's a new one. It's about the audiophile hobby, and it's called "All Sizzle...." As usual, it's completely off-topic for T.O.P.—that's the category—so be aware of that.
To find it, go to the Sunday Sermons page, where you'll find it at the top of the list. Happy Sunday!
Mike (thanks to Richard S. for alerting me to Fred Kaplan's piece on Slate)
Featured Comment by Max: "I can say I have a field of expertise in this post: beef. I lived my childhood in a cattle ranch here in Argentina, and still work in that field, and have eaten more meat, good or bad, than probably most people in the world. What's said is true, beef now is a lot worse, as tomatoes are, and any other product which could be 'optimized' for lower production costs.
"Beef quality and taste, as in most edible animals, is defined by the animal's diet. Originally, with extensive grass feeding, the cattle itself was much healthier, it walked a lot, which reduced fat content, and ate natural pastures that would even give it a distinctive taste according to its geographic origin. These days, because of land prices that has changed completely. Cattle is kept confined and fed grain to fatten it fast and cheap (and also there are a lot of chemical 'aids'). I can tell because this country is one of the last ones to jump on that wagon, but rising soybean prices have made extensive cattle production here an economical no-no.
"Really, you can't buy great beef like there was 20 years ago, and that's just the truth.
"As with everything else, from the Aberdeen Angus (which was all about meat quality, but not really that efficient) to todays genetic mixes, even the cattle breeds have gone for cheaper, easier to fatten, more prolific versions. Sound familiar?"