Should I Try Buffalo or Feel Guilty?
I was at Whole Foods in the meat section the other day and the butcher was really talking up buffalo meat and I remember an interview with Donny Deutsch and Ted Nugent where Ted the wild redneck said it had health benefits.
Buffalo hasn't been endangered for quite some time. It was already de-listed when I was a kid, and I remember seeing the big animals grazing on the ranch near my home when I would ride the bus to school. I've been a fan of the lean, naturally-prepared meat for years and have used it in burgers, chili’s and (of course) steaks. It cooks up and tastes like a very high-quality beef but is more expensive than the regular stuff. I buy it here at Whole Foods whenever I can make it over there.
I live in a mostly Armenian neighborhood in Hollywood. I have really nice neighbors on both sides and we are very friendly with each other. A few months ago, I bought two beautiful buffalo steaks at Whole Foods to prepare for my girl. She had never tried it before. The cuts were gorgeous and not inexpensive. Then, as has happened so many times before and since, her ex-husband reneged on his commitment to take his son for the evening, so she was stuck in Simi and I had a blazing grill and two ready-to-go buffalo steaks. I went out to put one of them on for my own solitary dinner and found a big birthday party in full swing at my neighbor's next door. They, too, were grilling and celebrating in their traditional fashion: straight shots of ice-cold vodka. They are very generous people and insisted on sharing what they had, so I decided I would not let my other steak go to waste. They were thrilled to try it, as they had heard much about buffalo but never sampled any. They cut it up and shared it with the whole extended family; it was a big hit.
I like buffalo because it's not as processed, at least for the moment, as mass-produced beef. They also don't keep them in with cattle, so their lives are better. Since they are no longer endangered and haven't been for a long time, I feel good about my choice. It's like eating ostrich or some other animal that is raised on independent farms in good conditions for a small percentage of the population. It also doesn't hurt that it's delicious.
I've read about eating buffalo meat and this research re the health benefits compared to cows meat is true but only because it's not yet a big business. If buffalo meat becomes popular, you'll have buffalo raised with antibiotics and growth hormones and under horrible conditions and with cruel slaughtering practices, just like is done with cows.
The Andy Rooney segment on 60 minutes touched on exactly the issue of meat, which we've been bouncing back and forth all day.
Not eating meat is almost a full time job...or very expensive. I'm getting by with the Amy's Organics frozen dinners, which are pretty expensive, compared to other frozen dinners. When I stop working, I plan to make up a bunch of brown rice and beans and freeze them in serving size portions myself, use as a staple to add other flavorings and vegetables, make soups etc. But that's pretty time consuming. Eating meat is the easiest way to get protein. If you don't like fish, I don't know what you do; it makes it a lot harder to get enough protein unless you want to spend all your time cooking. So everybody has to do what's right for them. But, yeah, you'd probably be better off without all the crap they feed/inject into commercially grown chicken and meat.
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