Restaurant Menus Help Resurgence of American Bison
The American bison has made a huge come back from near extinction. Not only are bison being raised by numerous farmers across the United States, but bison also has become a trendy restaurant selection on many “cool” restaurant menus.
Yes, bison is extremely expensive! It was once an endangered species, so even with its come back the numbers for consumption production are minuscule in comparison to that of the beef industry. This is why many restaurants shy away from bison, the profit margin is very low and the demand for it is low as well, in comparison to all the more traditional cuts of beef. But this is beginning to change as more people have discovered how delectable and nutritious bison really is.
Yes, bison is delicious and tastes better than the best cut of beef you ever had!
The meat is tender, succulent and highly nutritious packed with a very high iron content. It is a great alternative to those are bored with red meat and looking for a delicious substitute.
Also, bison is a deeper red color before cooking because there is no marbling (white flecks of fat within the meat muscle). Bison is said to have a sweeter, richer flavor than beef and has less fat and fewer calories than beef.
Bison nutrition facts:
According to USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS),100 grams of raw bison contains 109 calories and 1.8 grams fat. The same amount of raw beef contains 291 calories, and 24 grams fat. So, for the calorie conscious this may be an interesting comparison.
Two weeks ago, I made a visit to the Readington River Buffalo Farm in Flemington N.J. This farm is slightly over an hours drive from New York City. It was truly amazing to have found a farm, totally dedicated to the raising of American Bison and ultimately the sale and consumption, located in the State of New Jersey.
As a chef, I thought this was an amazing find and for many this bison farm would be an interesting thing to see.
For more on the Readington River Buffalo Farm, facts and cooking tips on bison , click here->Bison Farm, NJ
One interesting fact: Bison and buffalo are not one in the same. Even though the words are often used interchangeably. It would be very much like saying dog and canine are the same. They are not. Dogs and all canines are related but definitely not the same. The same holds true for bison and buffalo.
Real buffalo come from Asia and Africa. Those Buffalo that eventually made their way up and over the Bering Straight into the North American continent evolved over time to the American bison and became a staple of life for the plains Indians of America.
Bison were virtually extinct by 1900. Mostly because of the abusive over-hunting by the white settlers that headed west across America. The settlers lack of care as to what this over-hunting would eventually do to the species and inadvertently the indigenous plains Indians that relied on the bison as a way of life, is a story in and of itself.
This is a great site for more on the near extinction of the American bison and the great impact it had on the Native American population, click -> Buffalo Tales
Today, thanks to the many local bison farmers across the United States, bison have made a dramatic come back and have become a welcomed menu item for a beef substitute. Yes, marketing and consumption of bison believe it or not is a way to keep the species alive. Just like in the beef industry.
The reason why bison is so expensive is because obviously it was an endangered species with still only about 200,000 in the U.S today.
And, secondly, demand. People just don’t know enough about bison or think of it as a delicious and alternate meat source. If more people bought bison the way beef is bought, bison farms would be BOOMING! And the price of bison meat would be much more economical.
If restaurants across America would begin to offer more menu bison options to its customers, it would be doing a huge part in helping bison farmers stay in business along with helping to place a great American animal and once endangered species the “American Bison” back on top as the most majestic animal in American, where it rightfully belongs!