Bison Meat Side Effects + Benefits

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/11/22 •  12 min read

What are bison meat side effects and benefits every ethical consumer must know? Here are bison pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

bison benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on bison side effects and benefits.

You are going to learn all about bison side effects and benefits. This will include bison side effects for your health and potential risks, bison water footprint and bison carbon footprint, bison sustainability, if bison is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if bison is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about bison side effects and benefits that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Bison Side Effects And Benefits

Health

Bison side effects may include:

Bison meat benefits may include:

Additionally, bison is…

Environment

Water footprint: high, it takes 15,415 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of bovine meat (bison is a bovine animal) / 1,847 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of bovine meat

Carbon footprint: high, 68.8 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of bovine beat including bison, a car driving equivalent of 158 miles or 254 kilometers

Destruction: high, bison production is relatively sustainable, land usage for pasture, grain and forage, solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff into soil and freshwater, deforestation for feed crops, animal agriculture leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction, responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction

Bison is…

Animals

Kills: bison, a bovine mammal, must be killed in order to produce bison meat

Harms: bison, a bovine mammal, must be used in order to produce bison meat

Indirectly kills or harms: ecosystems and wildlife, habitat contamination (water and soil pollution), wildlife habitat destruction (deforestation/land clearing), wolves and coyotes killed to prevent predation on livestock 

Bison is…

Laborers

Health and safety: hazardous, meat processing workers have some of the highest rates of occupational injury and illness in the USA, the work environment in processing plants is dirty, dangerous, at times machines that injure workers by crushing, amputating, burning and slicing them, workers use tools such as knives, hooks, scissors, and saws, injuries include cuts, stabs, infections, scars, scratches, missing fingers, swollen joints, working conditions are humid, slippery, loud, hot or below freezing resulting in respiratory problems, skin infections and falls, workers experience

Living conditions: poor, workers must process thousands of animals per day, they are pressured to work as fast as possible, rest breaks and bathroom breaks are discouraged or denied, many workers must wear diapers, they experience stress, physical and emotional pain

Wages: low, in the USA workers are poorly compensated and earn under $15 an hour, they are often pushed to work faster so companies can profit more

Bison has…

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Where does most bison meat come from?

Most bison meat is produced in India, followed by Brazil.

Is bison nutritious?

Bison is high in protein, vitamin B, iron, selenium and zinc but contains purines, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.

What are some vegan substitutes?

Check out this Vegan Substitutes List to see alternatives for meat, dairy, eggs, fish and more.

bison is acidic. bison side effects include having an acidic ph level.

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

Is bison alkaline or acidic?

Bison is acidic. Meat is an acidic food group.

When you eat food, it is broken down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

bison is gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Is bison gluten free?

Yes, bison is gluten free. Bison does not contain gluten but ground meat, lunch meat, cold cuts, pre-seasoned meats and processed meats may contain gluten.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include: recurring abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, constipation, tingling, numbness in hands and feet, chronic fatigue, joint pain, unexplained infertility and low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis).

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

bison is not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is bison a common food allergen?

No, bison is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to bison but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods is often referred to as the Big-8 and includes milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. 

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

bison has a high water footprint. bison side effects include requiring lots of water.

bison side effects include requiring lots of water.

Does bison have a high or low water footprint?

Bison has a relatively high water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of bison?

It takes 15,415 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of bovine meat / 1,848 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of bovine meat.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

bison has a high carbon footprint. bison side effects include using lots of energy and emitting pollution.

bison side effects include using lots of energy and emitting pollution.

Does bison have a high or low carbon footprint?

Bison has a relatively high carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of bison?

It takes around 68.8 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of bovine meat, a car driving equivalent of 158 miles or 254 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

bison meat is unsustainable.

bison side effects include being unsustainable

Is bison meat sustainable?

No. Bison meat production is relatively unsustainable due to its high carbon footprint and high water footprint. Additionally, bison meat production requires land usage for bison pasture, grain and forage. Bisons’ solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff contaminates soil and freshwater. Consequently, deforestation occurs to produce feed crops for livestock. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction and is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

bison is not vegan. bison side effects include harming animals.

bison side effects include killing bison.

Is bison vegan?

No, bison is not vegan. Bison is meat, the product of a bison, therefore making it an animal-derived food. A bison must be killed in order to produce bison. 

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

bison has labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is bison a product with labor concerns?

Yes. At this time there are concerns with bison production. It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade

Conclusion

Bison meat pros include:

Bison meat cons include:

This post was all about bison side effects and benefits.

Sources:

About Bison – Bison (U.S. National Park Service)

National Monthly Bison Report – Agricultural Marketing Service

Bison from Farm to Table – USDA Food Safety and Inspection

How many animals are killed for food every day

Human rights watch:“When We’re Dead and Buried, Our Bones Will Keep Hurting”

Workers’ Rights Under Threat in US Meat and Poultry Plants

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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