Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is our Jerky product different than the common, shelf, stable jerky in the stores?

A: Our Bison, elk, and beef jerky products are produced Preservative Free. We do use sea salt in the recipe and the dehydration process reduces moisture content, adding shelf life when kept in a dry condition. It is great to take on hiking, camping and any outdoors adventures or traveling where you don't have refrigeration. We keep it frozen until we ship so you have a fresh, flavorful jerky that has it's full life ahead of it for you!

Quite frankly, you don't want to be eating jerky that can sit on a room temperature shelf for months without molding. Our bodies digest in the same way that bacteria decomposes food. If bacteria can't touch it, neither should you.

Q: What percent of liver & heart is in Ground Bison Blend?

A: The Ground Bison Blend is an amazing product made with a 12.5% blend of each bison liver & heart. 1 lb pack = 12 oz. ground bison, 2 oz. bison liver, 2 oz. bison heart. The Ground Blend is a fantastic way to incorporate organ meats into your diet without even tasting them. You literally will not know they are in there!

Q: What casings are used for your sausages?

A: The sausage products that are encased are made with the following:

Natural Pork Casing: Bratwurst, Kielbasa

Natural Sheep Casing: Hot Dogs, Breakfast Links

Beef Collagen Casing: Ring Bologna, Summer Sausage, Snack Sticks

**Note: Bratwursts come with a choice of either the Beef Collagen Casing or the Natural Pork Casing. All casings are edible but can also be removed after cooking if you so choose.

Q: How long are your steaks aged?

A: Our Bison, Elk, Beef steaks (Ribeye, New York Strip & Top Sirloin) are aged for 21 days. Wet aging is the aging process we use. We hold the steaks in a vacuum sealed bag in a dry cooler at 32 degrees for 21 days. Bacterial activity slows dramatically and enzymes naturally and consistently tenderize the meat as it's flavor profile deepens. The main difference between dry aging and wet aging is dry aging is wasteful. Once the dry aging process is complete the outer crust is trimmed and discarded. For us, throwing away some of the meat simply isn't acceptable.

Q: Where are you guys located?

A: Our Office, Store, and Processing facility is about 100 miles northeast of Minneapolis, MN. The address is: 222 Birch Ave, Cameron, WI. 54822 (715)-458-4300.  Hours: Monday-Friday: 8-5 pm, Sat. by appointment (715-651-0965-Mary's cell)

Our main ranch just 8 miles north of Rice Lake, WI: 1936 28th Ave., Rice Lake, WI 54868. We have bison grazing locations from east-central Minnesota to Central Wisconsin while our network of bison producers spreads from Michigan to Montana and Colorado to central Canada. Believe it or not, 100% Grass Fed Bison is very rare. About 90% of the bison raised for meat are finished on grain.

Q: Does your meat ever go on sale?

A: While we have occasional sales or promotions we try to keep the price of our meat as low as possible all the time. We do feature monthly specials.

Q: What Are the Elk Fed?

A: Our Elk is farm raised on pasture grazing grasses and forbs available. During winter, the elk are supplemented some non-GMO oats in addition to the natural sun dried hay. For this reason we are not able to advertise this meat as 100% grassfed. It is not legal to sell wild, hunted, elk meat, so if that is what you're after, we can refer you to an elk hunting expedition in New Mexico that our son Sean guides in the fall.  

Q: Are your Bison 100% Grass fed and Finished?

A: Yes, you can take that to the bank! Our animals NEVER receive any form of grain in their life. 100% grass fed meat has a very desirable CLA level and Omega 3's vs Omega 6 fatty acids creating a favorable ratio of 4:1 (6's to 3's).

The CLA Advantage

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a naturally occurring free fatty acid found mainly in meat and dairy products in small amounts. CLA was discovered by accident in 1978 by Michael W. Pariza at the University of Wisconsin while looking for mutagen formations in meat during cooking. The most abundant source of natural CLA is the meat and dairy products of grass-fed animals. Research conducted since 1999 shows that grazing animals have from 3-5 times more CLA than animals fattened on grain in a feedlot. Simply switching from grain-fed to grass-fed products can greatly increase your intake of CLA. (Dhiman, T. R., G. R. Anand, et al. (1999). "Conjugated linoleic acid content of milk from cows fed different diets." J Dairy Sci 82(10): 2146-56.)

Omega 3's

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid for human growth and development. We must have it to be healthy. Grass-finished beef is a great source for this essential nutrient. The source of Omega 3 is the green leaves of plants. When cattle eat their natural diet, beef becomes a great source of Omega 3. Grain is not a rich source of Omega 3, so standard, cattle-finishing practices cause the Omega 3 level to decrease dramatically.

Q: Can we see your farm?

A: Absolutely. You are welcome to visit any time. We have an "Open Gate Policy" as, not only do we have nothing to hide, we're always proud to give folks a peak at where their food comes from. If you're interested in a personalized tour with a bison burger, we can do that too! Call us at 715-458-4300 for scheduling.

Q: How many Bison cows do you guys have?

A: All our bison are not on one farm. We are an assembly of over 10 very small family farms and Nature Conservancies, no factories, that all work together with exact same standards. The average herd is around 50 head, and varies from 5 to several hundred.

Q: How shall we cook it?

A: Check out our Cooking Guidelines. 100% Grass Fed meats definitely cook differently, more like wild game. For steaks, hot and fast, and eat them as rare as you like. For roasting, as a general rule, the tougher the cut the lower the heat and longer the cook time.

Over-cooking dries and toughens meat. It also destroys many of the vitamins, enzymes and nutrients.

Q: Isn’t “corn fed” meat better tasting?

A: Fat equals flavor. But corn fed bison fat isn't as healthy or as flavorful as grass fed fat. If you want the most flavor, stick with fattier cuts like Ribeye, Brisket, Chuck Roast, or Ground Brisket. Once you experience the clean, fresh flavor of well finished grass fed meat, one quickly becomes spoiled and nothing less will do! Grass Fed Bison should never taste gamey or strong. It should taste clean and delicious and slightly sweet. Dr. Marchelo from NDSU did a double blind taste test and the results confirmed that grass fed bison had a very distinct, desirable flavor.

Q: Yum! What did you put on it?

A: Usually nothing but you can add a little sea salt, which is good for you, and occasionally, I use a little black pepper. So, just salt and pepper, nothing else! Really good meat stands alone without any sauces, marinades or other flavorings.

Q: Are you certified organic?

A: No, none of our products are certified organic as we do not feel that an expensive organic certification adds value to the product for the end consumer. It merely makes a great product more expensive. All of our products are 100% Grass Fed and Finished and/or organically raised. We have very strict raising protocols that are signed annually by all of our producers and held on file with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. All grain supplements for the animals that get supplemental feed (pork, chicken, turkey, etc.) are tested and proven glyphosate-free.

Our filter is "As nature intended" which really guides us much deeper than organic requirements and considers the health of the whole. All chemicals are barred from use as they do not contribute to positive outcomes in nature. Healthy soils produce healthy plants, healthy plants produce healthy animals, healthy animals produce healthy people. Our true focus has always been on being regenerative; always putting back more than we take, which leaks into how we harvest our animals, process our meats, and distribute our products directly to the consumer.

Have a question you can't find an answer to? Please reach out! 715-458-4300 or email us at contact@northstarbison.com

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