Known for its imposing, towering appearance in countless films about the Wild West, bison have been hunted by humans since time immemorial. The animals were a fixed component in the lives of Native Americans, and even today, bison are best kept in free-range conditions in their original homeland: the American prairie. It is also the natural habitat of up to 180 different herbs and minerals that give bison meat its fresh, savoury flavour.
Unlike with other types of meat, this flavour is largely stored in the muscle, rather than the fat (of which there is only a minuscule amount). Bison contains above-average amounts of iron, zinc, selenium and many vitamins. The human body breaks it down considerably faster than other types of meat, without feeling excessively full after the meal. This makes bison ideal for athletes.
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How do bison live?
Free-range farming and ecological feeding is crucial for these wild animals. Firstly, no stable in the world can stop these beasts, which grow to a weight of 1.2 tonnes and reach running speeds of 50 km/h. Secondly, an unnatural diet is stressful to bison, which are used to life in the prairie, and stressed animals make for an unsatisfactory gourmet meal. Natural, ecological bison husbandry has an effect on the quality of their meat.
Because their blueish tongues were considered a delicacy, bison were brought to the verge of extinction by an unprecedented extermination campaign that began in the middle of the nineteenth century. Thanks to the establishment of the Yellowstone National Park in 1872, however, some survived. 150 years later, their numbers have stabilised. Today, approximately 400,000 of the animals live in American national parks and vast herds owned by private breeders in the US and Canada.