Bison

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North American Bison and North American Buffalo are one in the same. Bison live in and around the great plains of the U.S as well as points north and west.

Bison meat is a very lean meat (about 90% lean meat, 10% fat) that’s high in selenium, zinc, iron, vitamins B6 and B12. What makes this meat different from others is that it contains omega 3 fats. Bison are able to naturally get omega 3’s in their diet because of the wide variety of vegetation that they consume. Bison are free range animals because they have to have a diverse diet of grasses and plants and they also do not do well in confinement. Farmers let them roam very large areas, which allows them to freely eat a wide variety of plants and grasses. This is primarily why bison meat is more nutrient dense than beef. In addition, Bison feed on foods that they are naturally accustomed to whereas cows, chickens and bulls are fed grains and derivatives of grains. Both bison and cows naturally eat grasses. They are not properly equipped to eat grains and do not properly digest them, which may cause them to absorb toxins from food that is not completely digested. They may also produce and other unwanted substances like methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide.

Although more pricy than beef, Bison are healthier and less stressed, which contributes to a better quality of meat than beef. Bison meat contains more protein than chicken. It also has a slightly sweeter taste than beef so it makes a great substitute if you are looking to try something new. Aim for organic bison meat in order to avoid the possibility of meat that contains GMO’s or pesticides from grains that farmers may feed them. Some bison farmers tend to feed their bison grains like corn or wheat before they are sent to be slaughtered, which helps fatten them up.

Look for the USDA Organic seal to ensure the meat you buy is organic.
 

 

Bison Cuts

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Chuck

Very lean and muscular meat. Good for pot roasts

Brisket

Tender and juicy good for barbecue and slow cooking.

Ribs

Ribeye and Rib cuts are the most flavorful of the cuts in part because it’s one of the the most tender meats on the bison. These cuts don’t need to be cooked long so they can retain their somewhat sweet flavor.

Short Loin

This cut is also one of the most tender cuts on a bison. It’s where Filet mignon cuts comes from. These cuts are great for grilling and because they are tender they do not need to be cooked at high temperatures.

Sirloin

This is also a very tender cut and is great for slow cooking on low temperature. This will help seal in most of its flavor.

Round

This is a very lean and muscular cut of meat much like the Chuck. Its best cooked slowly or even cut up into chunks and used in stews

Flank

This is also a lean cut and goes great on the grill. It cooks faster than flank cuts of beef.

Short Plate

This cut has the skirt and hangar steaks. Some butchers may keep hangar steak cuts for themselves…so you know it’s good.
 

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Summary

All in all, Bison meat is a healthy meat that’s lower in saturated fats than beef and has similar tastes. It’s also higher in many of the same vitamins and minerals than beef and contains healthy omega 3 fats. Bison are treated better overall than beef cattle, which may alter the taste and texture of the meat because they are less stressed and eat their natural diet. Although it’s more expensive than beef, especially if you buy organic, you do get your money’s worth. We should have only a few servings of red meat per week so a little bit of meat can go a long way.

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