Beliefnet
Mark D. Roberts

According to the New York Times, more Americans are eating buffalo meat today than ever before.

Why? Mainly because buffalo meat is high in protein and low in fat. And the fat in a buffalo is the good kind. “People want the high omega-3s,” which are healthy fats, said Joe Gould, who raises buffalo in Kansas.

More and more ranchers are converting from traditional beef to buffalo, not only because of demand, but also because of the soaring price of buffalo meat. There is money to be made here, especially if one is raising grass-fed buffalo.

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The largest buffalo rancher in the country is Ted Turner, who owns more than 50,000 animals and raises them on his vast ranches in Montana. A couple of years ago, my family and I vacationed near one of these ranches. A public road crossed the property, and we were able to see several specimens from Turner’s herd. The one to the right wasn’t quite sure he liked having his picture taken by yours truly, but he decided to leave me alone.

One of the problems with raising buffalo is that they are not especially nice or docile. You can approach a steer without worry. But don’t come anywhere near a buffalo. They will charge. You’ll notice that some buffalo ranches are ringed with electric fences. These are meant to keep the buffalo in the the humans out.

I’ve noticed that some ranchers in the Texas Hill Country, where I live, are raising buffalo. The picture below shows a ranch about fifty miles from my home. It’s a little hard to tell that what you’re seeing are buffalo (or bison), but you can take my word on it.

I’ve eaten buffalo meat. It tastes rather like beef, though, in my opinion, a little less flavorful. Still, I would choose it over beef sometimes for the health benefits. I also had buffalo jerky once. It tasted, well, exactly like jerky, which, according to my son, tastes just like wood.

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