Published on August 19, 2011 by Amy
For years, Indians living on the plains of America hunted buffalo as their primary source of meat. Other parts of the animal were used for a variety of purposes. Unlike the white settlers, the Native Americans appreciated the buffalo meat and wasted little as possible of the animal. In fact, they discovered that they did not have to resort to stampeding the buffalo over cliffs once they obtained horses to use in their hunts.
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The life of many Native American Indians centered on the existence of buffalo herds. Where the buffalo grazed, the Indians made camp, sometimes traveling several times throughout the year. Because their livelihood revolved around the buffalo, these animals were featured prominently in various religious rituals and ceremonies.
Buffalo almost became extinct in the 19th century due to further colonization of white settlers and the building of railroads. That dwindling of numbers meant less buffalo meat and other necessities to sustain the Indian way of life. Flash forward to today and you will see buffalo making a comeback in a big way. Still far from the former millions that once roamed the plains, there are probably over one quarter of a million buffalo today.
Buffalo meat is a growing business today which is why many of the animals live on farms and ranches, much like other livestock. You will find that the meat is much lower in fat and cholesterol. It also contains more protein and fewer calories. With buffalo meat you don’t have to worry about Mad Cow Disease and other problems often associated with beef products. In fact, it is touted as a health conscious alternative to both beef and chicken!
Buffalo meat has a similar flavor as beef and does not have the wild, gamey taste many people expect. You can substitute buffalo meat for beef in many recipes. Just expect not to have to cook it as long because of its lean texture. Buffalo will likely never surpass the popularity of beef and chicken, but it offers a great alternative if you are trying something new for a change.