I know...ostrich isn't bison. I'm not sure if this ranch actually raises ostrich as well as bison, or if they just market it for a neighboring farm. Nevertheless, there it was in their freezer, and we bought a pound of ground O-burger. Not being much of a gourmet cook, I did what most would probably do with the burger, I balled it up, patted it down and fried it in a frying pan. Boring, but tasty.
So what's all the rage with Ostrich? Take a wild guess... (I feel like there should be a drum roll or something right about now)... if you said, it's low in fat, you are of course correct. And you will be happy to know that it's been approved by both the American and British Health Associations, and recommended by the American Diabetes Association. Of course, the American Diabetes Association has no idea what constitutes a healthy fat and have listed every single real healthy fat (butter, lard, coconut oil, etc.) in their "unhealthy fat" list. In addition, they have this to say about sugar, and I quote:
"The myth that sugar causes diabetes is commonly accepted by many people. Research has shown that it isn't true. Eating sugar has nothing to do with developing type 1 diabetes.I don't know what research they're reading, because there is a mountain of research that tells a different story--I have actually read some of it. Gaining weight is NOT the culprit-- it is an associated result from the same cause, which is insulin resistance. And insulin resistance is the consequence of insulin levels that are kept constantly elevated by eating too much carbohydrate-laden food, particularly sugar. Insulin also regulates fat storage, by the way. (A great source of information on this subject is Why We Get Fat, by Gary Taubes.) But I suppose if people were to start healing from diabetes by eating truly healthy food, there wouldn't be any more need for diabetes drugs... or the American Diabetes Association, for that matter. Hmmm.
The biggest dietary risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes is simply eating too much and being overweight — your body doesn’t care if the extra food comes from cookies or beef, it is gaining weight that is the culprit."
But back to the topic, ostrich has been eaten by mankind for thousands of years--by the Egyptians, and probably by the Australians--and is no doubt still being eaten all over the world today except in America where it is the exotic (and expensive) new way to show everyone how healthy you're trying to be...eating low-fat and all. It tastes quite a bit like beef, and cooks up like very lean beef. However, pound for pound, ostrich meat has about a third the calories of beef and about one seventh the fat, while having about the same amount of protein. Does that make it healthier? Debatable. Despite what the mainstream nutrition "experts" tell us, saturated fats are an important part of a healthy diet.
So, in closing, if you're going to eat ostrich, eat it for the flavor, not because you think the low-fat quality will make you healthy. My O-burgers were tasty enough (I pan fried them in lard), but as far as I'm concerned, you can't beat good grass-fed beef for flavor... So that's what I'll be eating when I want something that tastes like beef.