Did Someone Say Bison?Commentary • food • animals • ISSUE 47•49 • Dec 6, 2011 By Dave Carter, Executive Director, National Bison Association Hi, hello there, sorry. I apologize if I'm interrupting, but did someone over here just say bison? I swear I wasn't eavesdropping or anything, but I was just standing over there and I couldn't help but notice that somebody mentioned something about bison, or herds of bison, or something about bison. Anyway, I could have sworn the word "bison" came from this general vicinity, so I just figured I'd stop over.Hi, Dave Carter, head of the National Bison Association. How are you?Please, don't stop your bison conversation on account of me. In fact, by all means, keep talking about bison. Talk about bison all you want. I love bison. As the executive director of the NBA and someone whose goal it is to foster a community bound by its shared heritage of the bison, I could talk bison all day long. It's just a pleasure and a thrill that someone over here said bison, because I didn't even plan on talking about bison that much today, but now here we are, a group of people talking about bison. Terrific. Absolutely terrific.Bison meat. Is that what you were talking about? Nothing leaner. Nothing leaner than bison meat. Grass-fed, proven to have a richer flavor than cow's meat, and with more protein and less calories. Would not be surprised one iota if you were talking about bison meat just now. You can't beat it. The key is—and this is Bison 101, folks—to eat it without any condiments. Seriously, that's the honest to God's truth. I'm telling you, the condiments ruin it. Ketchup, steak sauce, all that stuff. Throw it out. All you need is a little garlic salt, and, depending on the thickness of the cut, cook it for about 8 to 10 minutes at 325 degrees. You will not be able to tell me that it's not the best piece of meat you've ever tasted. Doesn't marble during the cooking process. That's the key.Bison burgers. Really just fantastic.Seriously, whatever bison topic you guys were on—whether it was something as large in scope as how these majestic beasts are symbolic of America's frontier spirit, or as small a detail as their simple grass and shrub diet, or even how they enjoy wallowing in shallow depressions in the soil—I'm more than happy to hear it, maybe even offer a little of my expertise, if necessary. And don't feel as if you need to backtrack to fill me in, either. Just start from where you left off, and I'll fill in the gaps myself.Bucknell University's mascot is the bison. Did you know that? It's true. Anyone here interested in starting your own bison farm? I can get you literature on that, no problem. One of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors, you know. Anyway, sorry, I don't want to monopolize the conversation. Continue on with what you were saying about the bison. Don't mind me. Bison are even-toed ungulates.By the way, I think it was definitely a male voice I heard say bison. But then again, maybe one of the women over here was talking about bison before I heard a man say "bison" and I just didn't hear any of the other times bison was said before I heard the man say it? Certainly a possibility, right? Yes? No? Bison? Miss, were you the one who said bison? Sir, was it you? Look, I'm not going to press. The important thing is that we're here, we're having a great time talking about bison, and…well, no "ands," really. I mean, what else do you need? We're talking about the pride of the heartland. The largest land animal in North America. Massive beasts who reigned over the plains for centuries. Beautiful creatures. Powerful, powerful animals.Bison can jump up to six feet in the air. Six feet! They're also very aggressive sexually.Well, I'm going to go get something to drink, and I'll be right back. Can we put this on hold for two seconds?Back. In the winter, bison forage in the snow for grass, and if there is little available, they'll resort to eating twigs. You see, bison are pure herbivores, and I think—and this is purely what I've observed—that their diet lulls people into thinking they are gentle creatures, but it's important to remember that at any point a bison can and will charge. Bison can run up to 40 mph and use their heads as battering rams. Native Americans used their rawhide to construct shields, saddles, and moccasins.Fascinating creatures, the bison. Absolutely fascinating. Ab-so-lutely. Was it you who said bison, ma'am? No? Anyway, yup. Yes, sir, here we are. Talkin' about bison. The bison. Thunder of the plains.Well, I have to get going. You guys enjoy the rest of your evening.