Welcome to a continuing series on examining whether or not it is worth your money to buy a Costco membership. I am examining whether it would really save my family money to shop there. If I find that it does, then I will get a membership.
I have been focusing on the price of meat. I talked about beef prices and chicken prices in previous posts.
Now I want to look at one of my favorite types of meat - bison. To answer the big question first, does Costco carry bison meat? Secondly, why would I want to buy it?
Can You Buy Bison at Costco?
Yes they do! Mostly only ground bison but I did see some delicious bison sausage at Costco during a recent visist.
A bison burger is a tasty dinner though (so are bison hot dogs!). Bison meat is leaner than cow meat and has more protein, so it's a win-win. Some say it's even a bit sweeter. I don't find that it is has a gamey flavor that puts people off to meats outside of the chicken, pork, and beef that Americans eat a lot of. I think most people if given bison and told it was beef, probably wouldn't bat an eyelash - thinking they just got some really good beef!
How Much Does Ground Bison Cost at Costco?
I found it going for $7.19 per pound. Not too bad. The price may sound high when compared to ground beef which usually ranges from $2.99 to $5.99 per pound depending on the type of meat. Bison is more expensive. There are three reasons why that is (according to Great Range Brand Bison)
"1) There is less of it, i.e. supply and demand.
2) The breeding stock is more expensive.
3) The meat is more expensive to produce."
In my experience I have found that the price of ground bison in my most places to be around $9.99/lb. A lot of the time I find it in the frozen section. Unless you can find a cheaper local source, then in the big grocery stores, Costco is most likely going to be your best value. Mark one down for Costco!
Where Does the Ground Bison Come From?
At my store in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the ground bison featured was from Kiva Sun - a Native American owned company. It comes in a 20 ounces package for $8.99 which works out to $7.19 per pound. According to their website the following is true about their animals:
Never treated with hormones
Finished on non-GMO diet
Respected at all times
They are committed to respecting the bison and see the meat as a gift from it. I believe that when you treat an animal that is being raised for food the proper way, it's not only going to benefit the animal's life and it's environment but also it makes for a better product for the consumer. I feel more comfortable eating bison meat. They are smaller companies producing the meat that show more care than the large beef companies that have huge operations where it is all about producing the cheapest product as fast as they can. Not to say that isn't people out there raising bison in an less than respected fashion, but I think your odds of getting good meat are better when you buy bison. I am able to look up a company like Kiva Sun, see what they are all about. Most of the time when you buy ground beef it's harder to trace the source of the meat.
You seem to "know your bison"! We ate at a little bar and I had a burger that was out of this world. I looked at their facebook page, and they indicated that they use bison. So I bought some in a package at Krogers and it tasted nothing like the $10 burger I ate at the bar. So, I went to Cosco and see that they sell it too, but in a package. Is there something I should look for to be sure it is "great"?
Can your trying asking the bar where they get their bison from? I know some places may not want to give that out. I don't really like the quality of meat at Kroger, so I am not surprised there. Your best choice would be to seek out a farm that you can buy directly from or a store that sells it from a smaller producer. That is your best chance. You still may want to give that Costco bison a try and see how it is. Thanks for the questions!
Do you carry all cuts of Bison grassfeed meats?
I have only seen Costco carry ground bison, not other cuts. They did have a 100% bison sausage recently, but that's all unfortunately.