The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

April 7, 2014

E. Iowa couple happy with decision to raise bison

(Continued)

Bison are easier to care for than cattle in a few ways. According to Nancy, they eat one-third the amount that cattle consume due to a second stomach that allows for the bison to draw protein from straw, which is a function that cattle lack.

Lyndall said most people are surprised to find out how much healthier bison meat is compared to other meats like chicken or beef. The bison also lack all growth enhancements, such as hormones, and eat only grain two weeks prior to slaughter to tenderize and sweeten the meat.

"It's lower in cholesterol; it's very lean meat, high in protein and iron. It's a sweeter flavor so it doesn't have that greasy, fat flavor like beef," said Lyndall.

According to the bison nutritional information from the USDA, per 100 grams of cooked lean meat, bison meat has 2.42 grams of fat compared to beef at 10.15 grams, or skinless chicken at 7.41 grams. It is also lower in calories with 143 grams, compared to beef at 219 grams or skinless chicken at 190 grams. Nancy says it's a good red meat choice for people with heart conditions or high cholesterol.

"We kind of laugh now because when we built this building we'd sit here and go 'Oh, I wonder if the buffalo meat is going to take off?' There were days no one would come in," said Nancy as she laughed. "Now we've both given up our full-time jobs. Whether you buy anything here or not, we love people to come out and see the bison. It's worth seeing the animals."

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Information from: Muscatine Journal, http://www.muscatinejournal.com

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