The Great Plains bison is the largest terrestrial mammal in North America, and one of the largest wild cattle in the world.
Genetic purity: breeding in the herd occurs naturally, without artificial insemination or embryo implant. The animal has not been crossed with domestic cattle.
Today people are working to re-establish buffalo to a prominent place on grasslands landscapes and to gain recognition of buffalo as an important economic resource within the livestock industry. Nutritional studies indicating the low fat content of buffalo meat, and specifically the Omega 3 fatty acid profile of GRASS fed buffalo meat, are also catching the attention of an increasingly health conscious public.
Concerns For the Bison
Along with this expansion, however, has come a growing concern among many producers that there has developed a shift in the approach to raising and feeding buffalo which is following many of the mistakes of the cattle industry. In cattle livestock management which has favored a "bigger is better" approach, a host of problems has been created, including loss of vitality, animal health problems, calving problems, high production costs, and hormonal additives and high fat content in meat. Adding fat back into buffalo burger is becoming a more widespread practice. Pure ground buffalo meat is 97% lean.
The Great Plains Buffalo Association
To preserve the true nature, vitality and genetic diversity of the Plains buffalo, Bison bison.
To promote more natural, sustainable management practices which respect and take into account the wild nature of buffalo.
To promote the raising and feeding of buffalo on grass pastures and promote principles of sound grassland management.
To demonstrate to the buffalo industry and the agricultural community the ecological and economic benefits of raising buffalo on grass utilizing a more natural management plan which takes into account and respects the hardiness and qualities which nature has provided.
To encourage preservation of genetic diversity and discourage "genetic tinkering" which only values a "bigger is better" philosophy.
researching various aspects of the buffalo's naturally strong immune system.
studying inter-relationships of buffalo and grassland ecosystems.
To educate consumers about the healthy aspects of grass fed buffalo meat which provides a high protein, nutrient dense, lowfat meat for a better diet.
To provide a system for recognizing and labeling grass fed buffalo meat and providing standards of quality thus assuring health conscious consumers that they are buying a product which is naturally raised and fed.
Back from Extinction Maclean's February 16, 2004 Author BRIAN BERGMAN
But the inexorable push of settlers westward changed all that. The building of continental railways in both Canada and the United States provided easy access for anyone who wanted to shoot buffalo. Commercial hunters killed the animals primarily for their hides, used to make highly coveted buffalo coats.
Montana ranchers, Michel Pablo and Charles Allard, who spent more than 20 years patiently assembling the largest collection of purebred bison on the continent (by the time of Allard's death in 1896, the herd numbered 300). In 1907, after U.S. authorities declined to buy the herd, Pablo struck a deal with the Canadian government and shipped most of his bison northward to the newly created Elk Island Park.
Spreading out the herd geographically, he says, helps protect the gene pool and lessen the risk of extinction due to some local catastrophe.
Bison Steals the Spotlight From Supplements and Substitutes at the American Dietetic Association's National Food and Nutrition
National Bison Association was a standout among companies introducing health foods, dietary supplements, and an endless line of fat-free and sugar-free products. The ADA was an excellent venue for spreading the word about bison's exemplary nutritional profile. Bison is lower in fat and calories than beef, pork, lamb, and skinless chicken, and is an excellent source of protein and iron.
Bison Meat Pizza - Stampedes Competition
Danny Wolf, owner of Wolfs Pizzeria in Manassas, Va., recently created the winning "Ethnic" pizza, Buffalo Bacon Cheddar, at Pizza Festival Best of the Northeast Recipe contest, sponsored by Pizza Today magazine and the Wisconsin Milk Board. Wolf will join four other finalists to compete for the best of the Northeast distinction during the Northeast Pizza Expo 2000, October 11 and 12 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Reprinted from Bison World, April / May / June 2001
You can be heart-healthy and consume lean meat without sacrificing taste and flavour. Bison meat is a satisfying and healthy alternative to lean poultry and fish. The American Heart Association has included bison as a lean meat option on their recent brochure: An Eating Plan for Healthy Americans. The goal of the eating plan is to educate Americans about reducing the "controllable" risk factors related to heart attack and stroke. The two major risk factors for heart attack are high blood cholesterol and obesity. Reducing those risks also reduces the likelihood of a stroke. The AHA recommends eating less saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, and maintaining a healthy weight. Choosing a proper portion of bison is part of the AHA eating plan.