high-fat, high-sodium, low-fiber menu is a typical lunch at many
American elementary schools. Deep-fried popcorn chicken, tiny
taters tots, bread, barbecue sauce, ketchup, and milk are menu
mainstays routinely featured alongside fatty items such as pizza,
french fries, hot dogs, and a mystery pork product called ribicue.
On a national level these typical offerings to school age children
have galvanized not only high-profile chefs such as Jamie Oliver
and Rachael Ray but also First Lady Michelle Obama.
On a local level the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma through
its Bison Program has decided to do something about the local
Perkins-Tryon ISD lunch menu. The Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council
(ITBC) offers a grant used to help decrease the health risk in
our educational systems by incorporating buffalo meat into childrens
diets. As a recipient of the ITBC grant The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma
Bison program, the Oklahoma Farm to School Program, the Perkins
Family Clinic Community Health Department and the Perkins-Tryon
Independent School District will offer their first buffalo meat
integration into the school menu November 13th of this year.
Bison the red meat of the new millennium
is a delicious, healthy alternative to beef, pork, chicken, and
fish. Bison is nutrient dense, low in calories and has a greater
concentration of iron and Vitamin E, which has a positive impact
on combating diabetes, heart disease and a number of diet related
Washington, Agriculture Director and Buffalo Herd Administrator,
the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma hasbeen preserving our buffalo
herds since early 2000, its part of our heritage as Ioway
people. Our connection to the buffalo has always been in existence
in our oral traditions, in our dances and in our clans, those
ties still exist today. We take every precaution to make sure
our 72 member herd is healthy and thriving. Part of that means
DNA testing to insure we have a diverse healthy buffalo herd.
Our entire herd is grass fed and hormone free being able to share
the benefits nutritionally with our surrounding community is exciting.
Perkins-Tryon Independent School District
is our initial attempt at incorporating bison meat into area school
lunch programs and we are the first and only tribe in Oklahoma
to participate in such an endeavor. Hopefully, other tribal herd
programs will want to follow the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma lead.
If they do, bison will dominate school lunch programs in Oklahoma,
said Chalis Cox Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Business Committee Secretary.