Episode 1: The Story of a Steak

In 2011, I ate a steak called the MosCowBoy. Like the name suggests, it was at a steakhouse in Moscow, Russia. Costing $75, the beef was imported from Australia, making that steak a symbol of Russia’s major food security problem. The country imported nearly half of all its red meat, costing $4 billion a year. A government program aimed to fix that problem by importing cattle and cowboys from America. That’s what I was doing there in the first place. Now I’m going back, five years later, to order that exact same steak. Has Russia’s cattle industry grown to the point it can supply its own meat? I’m on a quest to find out.

Here’s a picture of the steak that started it all off, back in 2011, the original MosCowBoy. Twenty ounces of juiciness, cooked medium rare, and worth every penny of the $75 bill. Well, maybe…


Ryan Bell is a Fulbright-National Geographic Fellow, traveling through Russia and Kazakhstan for his project #ComradeCowboys. Follow his adventure on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.Get updates about his work at Storify.


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