Beef quality is dependent on the diet provided to cattle and their living conditions. The two different farming regimes used for beef production in Argentina are grass pasture and feedlot-based farming.
Argentina's rainfall and largely temperate climate result in high quality pastures, which may, however, not be suitable for more intensive agriculture. The Humid Pampa (Pampa H˙meda) is the most important and best-known cattle-producing region, as it has vast and open pastures. Grass-fed beef is believed to be healthier than beef from feedlots, as it contains less saturated fat and more omega 3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef, and so does not contribute so much to raising cholesterol in humans. Although the latter diet is increasing, grass-fed beef is still the most popular in Argentina.
Grass-fed cattle are living under more natural conditions, and are less likely to have hormone implants. On the other hand, the technique requires large amounts of expensive land and a larger number of trained staff. Additionally, it takes longer to raise the animal.
As beef is increasingly mass-produced, farming techniques with the ultimate goal of fattening the animals are evolving; the most common of these is grain-fed beef cattle held in feedlots. But as the animals, denied physical effort and stocked together, get fatter; beer is often used to calm them. In order to prevent disease on farms and feedlots, the animals are fed antibiotics. The feedlot diet guarantees constant and controlled results, year-round productivity as it is not as dependent on climate and does not require so much land. Taking into consideration all these factors, it is thus the cheaper diet, but there are suggestions it is less beneficial for the welfare of the animals and for the health-giving qualities and flavour of the meat.