Pssst...Closeted Beef Lovers

If you read Marco Pagliarulo's Going Vegan for the Environment in this week, then you know that it takes a whopping 40-kcal input of energy to produce 1 kcal of beef protein, whereas it takes just 2.2 kcal to produce the same quantity of plant protein. And let's not forget the gazillion gallons of water inputs it takes to create meat protein or the pollution outputs intensive livestock operations create.

This is disheartening news for die hard beef eaters. But there's no need to feel like human Hummers. There is a similar red meat that offers more protein and iron, plus less fat and fewer calories. This option is bison meat.

Here are a few facts on bison and other conventional animal meats from the USDA Handbook:

Bison (100 g)          fat: 2.42 g     calories:143kcal     cholesterol: 82mg     iron: 3.42mg
Beef (100 g)           fat: 9.32g      calories: 211kcal     cholesterol: 86mg     iron: 2.00mg
Pork (100 g)           fat: 9.66g      calories: 212kcal     cholesterol: 86mg     iron: 1.10mg
Chicken (100 g)      fat: 3.90g      calories: 158kcal     cholesterol: 89mg     iron: 1.21mg

Vito Himself with Some Horns
Environmentally conscious Mile End beef lovers are in luck. Our favourite butcher, Vito, sells bison from its supplier, Ferme Takwanaw, in Thurso, Quebec, about 150 km north-east of Montreal in the Outaouais. Bison from the Petite Nation are obviously free-range (apparently 600 acres for 300 heads of bison) and hormone-free. You can buy bison steaks at $34.99/kilo or the ground variety at $13.99/kilo. Suppliers deliver on Wednesdays! Or if you're feeling particularly wealthy one week you can enjoy bison au Pied du cochon, which uses the same supplier as Vito.

We prepared our first bison burgers on Friday. My husband thought it was delicious, and my daughter thought it tasted like a hamburger. I enjoyed it too, but was happier than most to get a big shot of iron for a much-needed energy boost.

If you want to try something a little more creative. Here are some recipes for  Marinated Bison Stew, Bison Osso Bucco, and Pepper Bison Roast.


Renata | April 11, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Thanks SO MUCH for this!!! I've been looking for a place in Montreal that sells fresh organic bison meat! :)

Heather | April 11, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Now what could a girl do without fresh bison meat! So glad you liked the post! H

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