Cows dominate the red meat industry. From hamburgers, to steaks, to roasts, beef is everywhere. However, like many foods, simply because it is easy to find does not mean it is necessarily worth eating. There are alternatives out there that avoid many of the unhealthy drawbacks of beef and other overly processed meats. Bison is one such alternative. In this article, I would like to show how bison is superior nutritionally to beef, pork, and chicken and give you a little idea of how bison tastes.
First, let’s look at some nutritional information. Bison has about nine times less fat than choice beef, about five times less fat than pork, and about two times less fat than chicken. Bison also has half the calories of choice beef, one-third fewer calories than pork, and one-fourth fewer calories than chicken(1).
Those facts alone are enough to merit serious consideration of bison meat, but those stats are just the beginning. Bison is also far less heavily processed than other meats. Forget hormones, antibiotics, and genetically-modified corn. Bison are grass fed(2). The fewer synthetic chemicals in your food, the better. Bison are definitely a much more natural choice of meat.
The grass-feeding aspect of a bison’s diet may seem like a trivial matter, but it is actually of great significance. Aside from the negative health aspects of animals raised on genetically modified food like allergic reactions, antibiotic-resistant genes, and infiltration of genetically inbred pesticide residue(3), animals raised on genetically modified foods hurt small farmers, who would be unable to afford patented genetically modified seeds needed to grow the plants(4). This would raise the price of all food across the board.
If you are interested in healthier meat than the processed stuff you are usually sold and are concerned about the interests of small farmers, maybe you are considering giving bison a try. The important question is, how does it taste? I have had bison on several occasions and have always been delighted by it.
To begin with, bison is somewhat reminiscent of beef but is far more tender without being more fatty. I have yet to come across a rough piece of bison(although I’m sure there must be some). The flavor is also similar to beef but dissimilar enough that you will know that you are eating something different. Bison has a kind of honey-like undertone that makes it seem ever-so-slightly sweet. I have tried it in chili, on burgers, and on sandwiches and have always enjoyed it.
The biggest problem with bison meat? Finding it. If you are lucky, there might be some specialty stores or the occasional butcher that offers bison meat in your area, but it is still difficult to come by. There are resources available, though. The National Bison Association maintains a website, http://www.bisoncentral.com/, that offers ways to find bison meat in your area, as well as online.
Quit slowly poisoning yourself with the mass-produced, heavily processed, and unhealthy meats that line our supermarket shelves. Give bison meat(or at least an unprocessed meat) a try. Your body will thank you for it.