For our The Honest Bison Reviews, we were given a sample of bison meat and elk meat. This post contains affiliate links and we may be compensated if you make a purchase. All opinions are our own.
By Alison Chew
Reviewed by Rebecca Housh, MS, RDN
The Honest Bison
The Honest Bison believes that everyone deserves access to food that they can trust and are on a mission to bring transparency back into today’s fractured food system. By disclosing exactly where food comes from, and how it’s raised and processed The Honest Bison gives you food that not only tastes amazing but food that you can trust. And to build on that trust meats are certified by Whole30Approved, PaloeApproved, and American Grassfed.
The Honest Bison specializes in healthy, wild game meats including 100% grass-fed bison and naturally grazed elk and venison that are free from added hormones and unnecessary antibiotics. And because meats are minimally processed, and treated humanely from life to slaughter, their natural flavors and nutrients can shine.
Bison meat is a healthier alternative to beef (and tastes great!)
Meat is free from added hormones and antibiotics
Full food transparency and regenerative ranching
What We Don’t Like
Some meat can be expensive compared to more traditional meat
Shipping is not included for all items (Free shipping on Chef boxes and orders over $250)
Bison vs. Buffalo
Before we dive into our review, let’s talk about the difference between bison and buffalo. Many of us have grown up believing that wild buffalo roamed the United States in great herds hundreds of years ago. There is even a popular American song, “Home On The Range”, that references these beasts. And we can’t forget “Buffalo Bill”, the Civil War hero who supposedly killed thousands of buffalo.
In reality, and according to The Honest Bison and Wikipedia, the animals that once roamed the United States were actually bison (also called American buffalo and related to the European bison). True buffalo are the Asian water buffalo and the African buffalo found in Asia and Africa, nowhere near the US. When Europeans came to America they didn’t know what the bison were and used the term buffalo to describe them. Later, distinct differences were defined but because the term buffalo had been used for so long people continued to call bison buffalo. Still today, many dictionaries refer to American bison as buffalo or American buffalo. But now you know the truth!
When you order from The Honest Bison you are ordering 100% American grass-fed bison, not buffalo 😉
My husband and I were super excited to try The Honest Bison meat service. We had never eaten elk meat and while we both had tried bison meat in the past, we couldn’t recall much about it but had heard that it was a healthier alternative to beef. SHOP NOW >>
We also love that The Honest Bison works with ranchers that practice regenerative ranching – which means that animals and pastures are managed in such a way that mimics the patterns of nature, eliminating the need for fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. This allows the earth to naturally replenish itself, prevents overgrazing by allowing the herd to freely move around, and keeps harmful chemicals out of our food, land, and water. Good for us and good for our planet!
The Honest Bison has an extensive menu of bison meat, elk meat, and venison. In addition, they also carry cooking essentials like olive oil and vinegar as well as raw meat for your dog.
The Honest Bison Reviews: Bison Meat
The Honest Bison bison are 100% grass-fed from start to finish and Land to Market Verified. Land to Market Verified means “the animals have been raised on land that has been scientifically certified as regenerative”. Regenerative ranching has positive impacts on the animals as well as on our planet by increasing water absorption and retention in the soil, carbon sequestering, and plant biodiversity.
My husband was really excited to try the bison meat as he has been on a diet for the past year and read that bison meat was healthier for you than beef. When he told me this I wanted to learn more. The Honest Bison says that “Grassfed bison is naturally much leaner and higher in protein than most other meats—including beef. It has fewer calories, less cholesterol, more iron, and a higher ratio of healthy fatty acids like Omega-3”. Wow! Bison meat sounds amazing! And couple that with the regenerative ranching and this meat is truly better for you and the environment.
Let’s see how the nutrition information for bison meat compares to beef. According to the USDA, when comparing 100g of grass-fed ground bison meat with 100g of grass-fed ground beef, ground bison meat has fewer calories, more protein, less total fat and cholesterol.
The first dish we made using bison meat was chili. Chili is one of our favorite dishes and something I look forward to making every fall as the weather starts to cool here in the North East and the leaves begin to change. I break out my slow-cooker, chop the veggies, brown the meat, and add it all together with warm spices and let it cook all day. It fills the house with the best smell!
Before I added our cooked bison meat to the slow cooker, I left a couple of pieces out so that we could all try some before it was mixed with the rest of the chili ingredients. The ground bison meat has a rich taste and it’s not gamey at all. We all loved it and couldn’t wait to try out the chili! In the end, the ground bison added a deeper flavor to the chili and was wonderful. SHOP NOW >>
Not only does this meat taste delicious, but it’s better for you than beef, and with The Honest Bison you know that you are supporting ranchers that are working toward a better planet using more sustainable practices.
The only drawback for some could be the price. Grass-fed bison is more expensive than grass-fed beef, by about double depending on the cut and where you buy your meat from. If you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, have health conditions that necessitate protein with lower fat, calories, and cholesterol, and/or want to support ranching practices that are good for our planet, switching from beef to bison might be for you! Even swapping out beef for bison several times a month could lead to noticeable benefits. SHOP NOW >>
We cooked our ground elk meat on the stove and added taco seasoning, red peppers, and onions. As we did with the ground bison meat, we left out some cooked elk meat to try so that we could really taste the flavor prior to seasoning. We all liked the taste of the ground elk meat and found it tasted very similar to cooked ground beef.
We grilled our elk NY strip steak with a little steak seasoning mix of salt, pepper, garlic, and onion. We found that this cut of elk meat was a little tough. I may have overcooked it though as it was my first time grilling elk. It might be nice if The Honest Bison included a handout with basic cooking instructions and ideal internal temperatures for all first-time orders so that customers who are new to cooking these unique meats can get some tips.
Overall, elk meat is a great alternative to beef with a similar flavor profile. It might be fun to add it to your protein rotation and have on hand when you want to change up the flavor profile for classics like chili, burgers, or meatloaf. We didn’t try the venison this order but look forward to trying it out in the future. SHOP NOW >>
The Honest Bison Reviews: Bottom Line
The Honest Bison specializes in healthy, wild game meats including 100% grass-fed bison and naturally grazed elk and venison that are free from added hormones and unnecessary antibiotics.
The only drawback we see is the price. Bison is more expensive than beef no matter where you buy it from, but if you are looking for a beef alternative that is better for you and the environment, you already know this. When we compared the price of grass-fed ground bison meat from The Honest Bison to our local WholeFoods, The Honest Bison is about 30% more. But our local grocery store does not always have bison in stock.
We know that there are a lot of people who are looking for healthy protein options, either for health reasons or because they want to support companies that are more humane and better for the environment, and don’t have access to bison, elk, and venison at their local grocery stores. We recommend giving The Honest Bison a try. You won’t be disappointed. Save 20% with code GROUNDBISON20 >>
This post has been reviewed and approved by our dietitian Rebecca Housh, MS, RDN, LDN for nutritional accuracy.
Rebecca Housh is a registered dietitian based in Chicago, IL. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology from Boston University and a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Rebecca is passionate about the idea of food as medicine in both preventative and therapeutic care. Her current professional interests lie in food security, food access, and nutrition for chronic disease.
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