Milk and meat; what you see is what you taste

I am a real carnivore. I grew up with a mother loving the French kitchen, so I do love the sirloins, beefs, livers, casseroles, and many more. I married a wife with great interest in the Mediterranean kitchen, from Turkish köfte to the Greek gyros, the Italian Gnocchi and the Moroccan sheep’s balls, and I ate it all with great taste.

But slowly, and at least during the last decade, I did not like the Dutch meat and milk that much anymore. But why?


Holland may be small, but it is the world’s second largest producer of agro industrial products. Our diary production is even the biggest. So you would say we are the specialists.

Once I tried different milks. But sorry, there was not even the slightest difference.

Let’s have a look at how it is processed. The cows are all the same. The more the same, the better to industrialize. Only the black and white spots differ, because the industry doesnot care.

The lifes are exactly the same. As soon as possible, she delivers a calf. This is taken away straight away, to make the milk production going. To keep this going, she delivers a calf each year.

There is no scientific proof wether a cow would prefer a meadow over a stable, so it depends on the farmer’s way to run his company. It could very well be she only sees the outside world on her way to the abattoir. She will make that walk when she is at the age of six, half way through her life, as her milk production slows down.

A modern stable in Holland. In the inner circle the cows automatically get their food, exactly balanced to get the milk specifications like the fat level, just as the marketing department dictates. On the outer circle the manure is automatically drained away. In between are the nipples of the cow. The connection to the milk machine is the only human handwork the cow will experience every day. This delivers about 10,000 liter of milk per cow per year. More than 10 tons per year.

Now I understand why I slowly started to find milk more and more boring. Same with yoghurt and buttermilk. Lucky us, an adult doesnot need milk. But a bit of diary and cereals in the morning would be nice. So what I do now, is making my own yoghurt. This tastes differently because you can vary the yoghurt bacteria culture. Extra side effect: the sour of the yoghurt eliminates a part of the sweetness that is added to the cereals.

Still I question if this is the way to process food from animals.

The meat: what you see is what you get.

Also the meat always tastes the same. You cannot taste one sirloin from the other, even if you buy it from different supermarket butchers. They all look the same too.

What doesnot help to like meat is the association with the abuse of these animals. That sticks to you, and it sticks to the meat you have on your plate. Especially the mistreatment and violence against pigs has become too systematic, too much integrated in the culture of this large scale industry. This same industry is even subsidized by the government; it is also an abuse of our tax money.

Finally you start to think that you taste this abuse, so in Holland a piece of pork on my plate became an exception. It is mostly beef or goat meat I eat, or vegetarian.

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Colombia! Tastes!

But then I discovered the meat in Colombia!

This was real meat! Wow, I at beef, sirloin, hamburgers, and every time the pieces differed in taste. Yes, sometimes there was a sin or a little tendon in the meat, but I don’t care at all, I put that aside.  

This medium fried sirloin is has full taste. Just next to the cut off piece, you can see a little tendonish part in the meat, but I did not care. I could taste wealth of grasses, spices, everything this cow must have eaten in her life. And, by the way, this sirloin costs one third of the price you pay in Europe.

Meadows! Grasses! Spices!

I was discovering a bit the outskirts of the Colombian town I was in. I ended up on a path through the fields, the meadows if you like. I walked between the cows. They are always outside. They have an easy life, just hanging around and eating. I met a women picking spices. She said: “They eat grass and there are about 25 sorts of grass here.”  And she continued: “They also eat the spices if they like. So if you don’t mind, I go picking them before they do.”

Wow. Every cow eats to its own wish, taste, belief, I don’t know.

But I do know why every piece of meat is different here and rich of taste.

Just check the pictures here.