How much consideration do you think the average american puts into purchasing meat from the store? The current selection at the grocery store could be overwhelming with all the different kinds of beef cuts available. The exotic meat of an American bison might seem strange to most but it is the nations “original” red meat, for beef cattle are not native to North America but introduced by Spanish and English settlers.
These amazing animals are a staple of the west and used to roam the land in massive herds, now they are confined to private ranches and the only free roaming herd still around is located in Yellowstone National Park. The majestic creature almost disappeared from the American landscape as the European settle pushed west eliminating the herds from the western plains.
The bison that we see in grocery stores are ranch raised and are grass-fed, usually free to roam the lands of the ranch until time to harvest. This method of free grazing bison helps balance the ecosystem by keeping the grasslands in check and not over growing. Their waste returns the need nutrients back to the soil and the cycle continues. Bison are aware of their surroundings and do not destroy grassland like cattle do, instead the bisons sort of glide over the range not destroying wildflowers or grasses that they won’t eat.
While cattle have a much broader appetite for forbs (broad-leave plants), which will lead to a decline in the diversity of the grazing prairies. Bison seem to not stay in the same location from day to day but like to cover a lot of ground in their herds picking and choosing grasses of their liking, so not leaving their mark on an area for an extended period of time.
Regulation standards do not allow for ranchers to use any hormones, antibiotics, or any chemicals on bison, unlike cattle which are pumped full of them. Thus you will find that most bison meat will be organic. Bison meat contains less fat and calories, and also has has more nutrients that we need in large amount such as iron, B-12, and protein.
For those of us who have readily access to local bison ranches, it should at least be of consideration when choosing between american bison and cattle. For many are probably unaware that bison can be implemented as a substitute for beef and as a much healthier alternative.