Once upon a time, the American Bison roamed the western frontier in herds of millions, its only predator the American Indian and the occasional wolf pack. We all know the story—once settlers started pushing west, we hunted them to near extinction. Today, the great bison is rebounding thanks to dedicated small farms and universities—and an increasing demand for their meat. It’s a counter-intuitive example of saving a species through consumption.

You can find bison meat at some farmers markets or natural food stores. The best way would be to search REAP Food Group’s Farm Fresh Atlas for bison farmers and call to find out where they distribute. While you’re on the phone, ask about how they raise their animals. Though the bison farmer may not be certified organic (only farms bringing in a certain level of revenue are required to certify), they may be using organic practices and treating their animals well. Ask questions to educate yourself and get to know the farmer.

Nutrition: Bison has less fat, saturated fat, calories, cholesterol and more protein than chicken breast. Like most meat, however, its cholesterol levels are considered high, nutritionally, so watching meat portion sizes is always a good practice for your health.