Is Beefalo The Meat Of The Future? For One Iowan, Not Really
Is a beefalo burger the future of red meat? Well, if you ask some people they say yes, it should be at least.
If you can’t tell by its name, a beefalo is a cross between cattle and bison. It creates meat that is lean like a bison but is much easier to raise. Bison can be difficult to raise on a farm because they are wild animals.
The beefalo is bread to have more cattle characteristics—they can have as little as 18 percent of bison genes and are still considered a purebred beefalo.
But not everyone is convinced this is the best idea. According to an article in NPR, Martha McFarland, farmland viability coordinator for the advocacy group Practical Farmers of Iowa raises both animals, but would never mix them.
She says that beefalo meat is a niche market, just like bison meat. She adds that the average consumer just wants to pick up their food at the grocery store and be done with it.
The American Beefalo Association has pinned beefalo meat as one of the “best-kept secrets in the health food market”.
USDA testing says beefalo meat has better vitamin levels, higher protein, about 1/3 less cholesterol, 79 percent less fat, and 66 percent fewer calories than beef.
Beefalo was very popular back in the 1970s but they lost popularity when people had a hard time proving their bison content. The breed became more established in the 1990s when DNA testing was able to establish bison content.
Early documentation even shows that beefalo can be finished and marketed at up to 40 percent less than conventional beef.