July is Bison Month

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The National Bison Association announced on July 1 the annual kickoff to July Bison Month, encouraging consumers to add this uniquely American, delicious, humanely raised, supremely healthy protein to their regular diets.

The population of American bison once exceeded 30 million animals across North America. Bison were decimated to near extinction in the late 19th century through hunting, slaughter, drought and introduced disease. However, bison have made a tremendous comeback and now number over 400,000 head across the continent.

This remarkable comeback is thanks to a unique collaboration among American farmers, Native American tribes and conservation groups, all working to restore the species to its historic range. In 2016, this collection of bison stakeholders also successfully lobbied to make the American bison the first-ever National Mammal of the United States.

By adding bison to your diet, you are eating a delicious, naturally raised, nutrient-dense protein that is healthy for you and good for the environment. In choosing bison, you are helping to restore herds to North American grasslands while encouraging regenerative agriculture. In short, by supporting bison farmers, consumers are contributing to grassland regeneration, carbon sequestration, soil regeneration, increased biodiversity and more bison on the landscape.

Bison Month, while not a federally designated observance, is celebrated each July by the bison community and is a time in which bison stewards promote the delicious taste of bison burgers, steaks, ribs and roasts as a summer grilling treat. Bison is the leanest protein widely available to consumers today while being supremely nutritious, with 26% more iron and 87% lower in fat than conventional beef, for example. Based on nutrient data from USDA, bison has 766% more B12 vitamins than chicken and 32% less fat.

Bison is easier to find than ever, with all major grocery chains carrying at least ground bison and packaged steaks. Fresh cuts are available at natural and specialty food stores, local butchers and other retailers, offering the same cuts yielded from a beef animal. Bison is showing up on more restaurant menus, and not just bison burgers, as chefs discover the versatility of this uniquely American protein. And that’s not to mention bison’s growing prevalence online, at farmers markets, farm stores and in Climate Smart Agriculture programs.

Find a local bison producer near you or order online with the National Bison Association’s handy online buyer’s guide, available at bisoncentral.com/buying-bison-meat, and find bison-specific recipes, nutritional data, cuts and instructional cooking videos at bisoncentral.com/how-to-cook-bison.

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