Cattle Branding: The Rise of Black Angus Beef
Thirty years ago, Hereford cows populated the cattle farms of the American countryside. There were a few black cows and an occasional blonde Charlois, but the red and white Herefords made up the vast majority of beef cattle. Today, many of those farms are dotted with only black cows, most from a breed called Black Angus.
In grocery stores and restaurants, the "Certified Angus Beef" label stands out in big, bold print on menus and labels. Black Angus cattle fetch a premium at cattle auctions and even non-Angus cattle are now bred to be black. Genius branding may have fueled the fire, but is Angus beef really superior? NPR's John Ydstie visits the experts -- a cattle farmer, a professor and a chef -- to find out why Black Angus became the beef to buy.
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