If Paleo is all about going back to our roots and chowing down on the things our ancestors ate; then for many of us there’s probably no better animal than the bison. Sometimes called “America’s original red meat.” How on earth do you get your hands on bison, though?
The good news is that we don’t need to hunt bison ourselves in order to enjoy everything it has to offer. This red meat is becoming popular enough that suppliers are stocking up, but it doesn’t end there. Federal regulations are doing a great job at preventing antibiotic treatment and feedlot raising of these magnificent creatures. So, the meat you get is much less likely to be tainted with the hormones and chemicals we see in beef that has been grain-fed.
WHY IT’S GREAT:
- Ounce for ounce, bison contains more iron than other meats, including beef. Iron helps keep our bodies stable in a state called homeostasis. This is especially important in the brain; if you’ve got the right balance of iron up in your brain matter, you’re much less likely to develop degenerative mental diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- This meat is the one to find some rarer nutrients, like selenium. Selenium protects our bodies from cell damage caused by free radicals. studies have shown that it can also boost our immune system.
- Bison has a nice amount of protein with healthier fats than beef. This makes it a great beef alternative, and many people say it’s richer and tastes better than other meats too!
THINGS TO KNOW:
- Because this meat contains less fat than its beef counterpart, it’s much easier to overcook. If you’re cooking bison, remember to cut your cooking times and reduce the heat to avoid overcooking.
- If there are no local suppliers in your area, you can try resources like Allen Brothers. Or check out the buyer’s guide at National Bison Association to find a shipper near you. Whole Foods has also begun to stock some bison products.
- Remember that “buffalo” milk and cheese (sometimes called “buffalo mozzarella”) are not bison products. They are made from water buffalo milk.
Bison is a great way to branch out and add some new food to your diet. As this type of meat becomes more available, more and more Paleo-ists will be adding it to their plates, and you should give a try too. Who knows—you may never go back to beef!