Friday, June 13, 2008

Buffaloed by Bison?

I'll be out of computer range for a couple of days, so I'm putting this up as a reminder myself to keep researching. In the meantime, maybe someone else has insights.

I picked up a pack of bison meat at Haggen, thinking "grass-fed," "low impact," "lower cholesterol," etc. I eat red meat just a few times a year and rarely miss it, but every now and then... Then I read the fine print and found that these beasties are corn-finished, like a feedlot steer. Apparently folks want the cachet of healthy "wild" buffalo but not the actual leanness, with attendent cooking challenges, of truly grass-fed meat.

Sheesh, say I.

But it does make me think that lots of people could probably use some help learning to cook with truly lean cuts of beef. If you are from a hunting family, you probably already know. If not (as I certainly wasn't), then there's a learning curve. If you are going to eat meat at all, but rarely, and you are going to pay a premium for responsibly raised animal flesh, it would be disappointing--and disrespectful to the animal, I think--to end up with a dried-out flavorless slab of stringy grayish stuff. And it doesn't have to be that way. I'll get back to that.


Mr. Green Genes said...

This is a very timely post.. a few days ago, I was reading about how the bison industry ahs taken off and how more bison farmers are needed.
Apparently bison is usually farmed on land unsuitable for other types of farming~ so, why the use of feedlots? this practice astounds me!

Seven Trees said...

Did the bison come from these guys -

I didn't see anything on their site about grain-finishing, but that doesn't prove anything.

Mr. Green Genes said...

Actually, Michael Pollan wrote in his book about the complete unsuitability of feeding corn to cattle of any type...
(I know, a completely unrelated comment, but I confess that I do love that book of his~)