Tips on preparing bison with Harden Ranch


Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Harden Bison Ranch shares tips on how to prepare bison.

Here’s more from Harden Bison Ranch:
Welcome to Harden Ranch! Raising Grass Fed Bison in East Central Illinois
34 years ago we built our log home on a 30 acre tract of land hoping that one day we would be able to fulfill our dream of having bison roam the pasture. In 2012 we made that a reality with our first 4 animals stepping onto the property and starting our herd. Since then we have grown our herd to 14 animals and fallen in love with bison and the ranching life. As we grow our pastures, our herd and our family; our ambition grows with it.

Our goal is to raise bison the way it is supposed to be done. Giving the animals the grass, clover and land they are meant to have and watch them grow naturally. We found out early in our endeavor that happy animals equals happy customers. We hope you enjoy navigating our website and get as excited about our bison meat and ranch as we are!

Environmentalists like grass-fed bison because this method of meat production is more sustainable and less polluting than conventional methods. As bison graze, they keep the ecosystem in check by preventing grasses from overgrowing, while their waste nourishes the soil, among other benefits. Properly grazed grasslands can, in fact, help stem global climate change because they trap the carbon from greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and redistribute it in soil.

Whether 100 percent grass-fed or grain-finished, bison meat is leaner than beef, though grain-finishing does increase the fat content somewhat. And like all meat, it is rich in protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and other nutrients. The National Bison Association promotes it as having only 2.4 grams of fat and 143 calories in 3.5 ounces cooked, compared to 8 grams of fat and 200 calories in a piece of “select” beef. That’s based on the leanest cuts, trimmed of all fat. Other bison cuts have 4 to 9 grams of fat and 165 to 190 calories, comparable to some lean beef cuts; ground bison meat can have 15 grams of fat and 240 calories in 3.5 ounces.

Bison meat is also promoted as a good source of omega-3 fats. Grass-fed cuts have more of these heart-healthy fats than conventional beef (the same is true for grass-fed beef), but the amount is minimal compared to salmon and other fatty fish. And grain-finishing causes a rapid decline in omega-3 levels.

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