Why is bison more expensive than beef?

The price for bison is slightly higher than beef for a few good reasons.

  • Bison are not farmed on the same massive scale as cattle and are considered more of a specialty item than a commodity.
  • There are approximately 500,000 head of bison in North America vs over 100,000,000 head of cattle, therefore, the bison industry does not have the same efficiencies that the cattle industry does.
  • Our animals are raised primarily on pasture utilizing restorative ranching practices
  • Bison take longer to produce; 24-30 months when harvested vs 15-18 months for beef.
  • Bison meat is considered more of a specialty item, with pricing comparable to other premium protein products.

Is bison meat better for me than beef?

Bison is a leaner protein than beef and may be a healthier choice if you’re looking to maximize your nutritional benefit while reducing your calorie or fat intake. Bison is a great choice for Keto-friendly diets—it has nearly 25% fewer calories than beef and is lower in total and saturated fat. Both are good sources of iron, zinc phosphorus, niacin, selenium, and vitamins B6 and B12, although bison is higher in iron and Omega 3s.

What do you feed your animals?

Noble Premium Bison are range-raised on native prairies or lands that have been restored to grassland and grain-finished for a short period on coarse and or pulse grains that are balanced to meet the nutritional requirements of the bison. One of the most significant differences between bison meat and beef may be the diet they are raised on. In fact, this difference may also explain some of the nutritional variations between these two meats. Unlike most cattle, bison are pasture-raised on good quality forages native to the ecosystem. Our bison are raised without the use of antibiotics or growth stimulants.

Are there pesticides in the grain you feed your bison?

At Noble, our bison are range-raised and grain-finished without the use of antibiotics or growth stimulants. The grain our bison receive for approximately 90-120 days is grown under HACCP—a science-based, food safety system subject to strict regulations and controls and designed to protect public health.

Your bison are raised in Canada so why does your packaging say ‘Product of the USA’?

Our bison are processed in the USA so the packaging must say Product of USA, but our bison are 100% Canadian and so are we!

Noble Premium Bison is a Canadian company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. All our bison are raised by Canadian producers on our ranches in Western Canada. As part of our safe food promise, we wanted to process and package our premium product at the best facility possible. For this reason, we chose a single species facility in North Dakota because of their high animal welfare standards, Good Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and Safe Quality Food (SQF) certifications, EU certification, ability to conduct all production processes in the same facility and the close proximity to our ranches. No other facility in North America can meet these requirements. A single species facility is important because it eliminates the risk of cross-contamination.

For more information on our sustainable ranching practices, click here.

Are your bison raised in feedlots?

No. Our bison are ranch-raised in Canada on over 9,000 acres of native prairies and/or lands that have been restored to grassland.

Where are your bison raised?

Our bison are grown and raised by Canadian producers on over 9,000 acres of native grasslands in Western Canada. We have two ranches in Saskatchewan and one in Manitoba that are owned and managed by our producer/partner Doug Griller, a third generation rancher. When required, we also work with select producers in Western Canada that manage/govern their operations under the same guidelines and attention to environmental practices as Noble.

Are your bison given antibiotics or hormones?

No. Regulations and industry standards don’t allow the use of hormones in bison. As well, Noble Premium Bison are range-raised and grain-finished without the use of antibiotics and our products contain no additives, which means you’re enjoying 100% pure protein.

What does bison taste like?

We think it tastes great! Bison meat is slightly richer and sweeter than beef and has a smoother mouthfeel because of the leanness. Bison and beef have a similar enough flavour that it doesn’t take an adventurous palate to give it a try. In fact, it may be difficult to taste the difference in some recipes.

Why is bison meat a different colour than beef?

Uncooked bison meat is usually a darker colour than beef due to high iron content and low marbling.

Can I use bison instead of beef in recipes that call for beef?

Due to their versatility and comparable taste profiles, bison and beef can be prepared similarly in your favourite recipes. However, bison has so much more than beef in terms of their nutrition profiles, and because it’s a leaner meat, bison has less fat and cholesterol compared to other proteins. Just be sure not to overcook your bison steak (we recommend medium-rare and no more than medium) and check out our recipes here.

Where can I buy bison?

To the hospitality industry, Noble Premium Bison is available through wholesalers. For consumers who want to enjoy bison at home, you can buy Noble Premium Extra Lean Ground Bison at Costco locations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. You’ll find our Noble Premium Bison Grilling Steaks, Marinating Steak, Steak Cubes and Lean Ground at the fresh meat counter at Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods and select IGA stores across Western Canada. Find a location nearest you here.

What kind of cuts are available?

At wholesale, we offer dozens of premium cuts of meat, generated from industry standard specs set by the North American Meat Producers (NAMP). From tenderloin to short rib, striploin to ribeye, our customers can anticipate receiving the same high standard each and every time. For high volume orders we offer a custom spec service for clients who require a spec unique to their business. Regardless of the cut, our goal is to maximize value by minimizing handling and waste. At retail, we offer consumers steaks that are ideal for grilling and marinating, as well as steak cubes for slow cooking, and lean ground bison that can be used in any recipe that calls for ground.

Is bison hard to cook?

Bison is as easy to cook as beef, however, it’s a much leaner meat so needs less time on the grill. When cooking steaks, we suggest medium-rare for the best eating experience and not more than medium. Use an instant-read thermometer for perfect results. For slow cooking and ground, follow the instructions on the packaging and check out our recipes page for some delicious recipes, including how to cook the perfect steak!

Should I marinate my bison steak?

Marinades are good for adding surface flavor and aroma, and are ideal for less tender cuts from the hip, like the inside round, sirloin tip, flank or steak cubes that will be grilled or pan-fried. Marinades are wet mixtures of acidic liquids like vinegar, wine, or yogurt, seasoned with salt and spices. Meat is put into a marinade a few hours to a few days before cooking so that the salt and acid can work together to both season and tenderize the meat. Our Marinating Steaks include recipes on the packaging and there are more recipes here.

What does SQF certified mean?

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) program is a rigorous and credible food safety and quality program that is recognized by retailers, brand owners, and food service providers world-wide. Recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the SQF family of food safety and quality codes are designed to meet industry, customer, and regulatory requirements for all sectors of the food supply chain—from the farm or ranch, all the way to retail stores and restaurants.

This science-based farm-to-table food safety and quality certification helps food producers assure their buyers that their food products have been grown, processed, prepared and handled according to the highest possible global food safety standards.

What is the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)?

GFSI stands for The Global Food Safety Initiative. It is a business-driven initiative for the development of food safety management systems to ensure food facilities are processing safe food for consumers.

“Over the past several decades, the world has seen numerous food safety crises in the headlines, eroding consumers’ trust in the safety of the food they buy, the brands they love and even the food industry at large. The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was created in 2000 to help address this global issue. It is a landmark initiative of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global industry network working to support Better Lives Through Better Business. We aim to build consumers’ trust in the food they buy – no matter where their food has come from, nor where in the world they live – by improving food safety management practices.”

The GFSI is a private organization that oversees and approves different auditing platforms as meeting their criteria. This criterion provides a universal ‘gold standard’ of recognition to specific food safety audits.

In practice, this means that a food processor or manufacturer who can point to their GFSI certification can effectively and immediately show their customers and potential customers that their plant is operating with a structured, comprehensive, and effective food safety program.

What’s the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed?

Our bison are ranch-raised on over 9,000 acres of native prairies and/or lands that have been restored to grassland, until 90-120 days before harvest. As bison graze, they keep the ecosystem in check by preventing grasses from overgrowing, while their waste nourishes the soil, among other benefits. Properly grazed grasslands can, in fact, positively impact global climate change because they trap the carbon from greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and redistribute it to the soil.

There are significant challenges to grass finishing, given Canada’s relatively short growing season; grain finishing for 90-120 days ensures that we have a premium quality product available year-round. It also makes the texture and flavor of the meat more consistent—and turns the yellow fat to white—which some people prefer.

When do you harvest your bison?

Bison are between 24 and 30 months when they are harvested, compared to cattle which are 15-18 months.

What do you mean by sustainable or regenerative ranching?

Through our ranching practices we work to improve the soil and overall health of the land our bison graze on. There are various techniques we use that are consistent with sustainable agriculture practices such as limiting tillage of the soil, increasing plant diversity, rotating cover crops and limiting the use of synthetic inputs like pesticides and fertilizers, which can negatively impact soil health.

Managing livestock in conscientious ways regenerates the land and can have a positive impact on climate change. Through rotational grazing, we strategically move the bison around so that rangeland is trimmed and fertilized by the bison. This strategy leads to increased forage production and soil fertility, resistance to drought, better water retention, and the sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere into the soil.




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