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By Jim Cornelius
News Editor 

Alpaca meat can be a healthier choice


Last updated 9/18/2019 at Noon

Seniors who are dealing with high cholesterol are often counseled to change their diet and look for alternative food choices to reduce their cholesterol levels.

They may be able to do so without giving up their burgers. Alpaca meat is an alternative to beef — and it is catching on in the food world.

“Alpaca meat is one of the healthiest and most flavorful meats in the world,” Sierra Meats reports. “It is described as a mild meat which takes on the flavor of the dish. It is slightly salty, tender and lean, high in protein with no fatty aftertaste. Alpaca meat also has the lowest level of cholesterol of any meat.”

Art Izer and Nancy Chapel-Izer can testify to the qualities of alpaca meat — and not just because they own and operate an alpaca ranch in Sisters Country.

“Art had a heart attack three years ago,” Nancy told The Nugget.

He had high cholesterol, and required stents to open blockages. A cardiologist consulted with him on his diet.

“They said, ‘You know, you’ve got the natural thing right there,’” Nancy recalled. “‘You should be eating alpaca meat because it’s so lean.’”

Nancy and Art don’t raise their alpacas at Alpaca Country Estates Ranch and Bed & Breakfast in Terrebonne specifically for their meat — but they do produce some meat through the process of culling.

“We know it was grass-fed, no hormones,” Nancy said.

Art began eating alpaca instead of beef on a regular basis and, Nancy reports, within a year, his cholesterol had hit normal levels.

“We have it a lot,” Nancy said. “We don’t buy beef now. We use it for spaghetti; we use it for hamburgers; we have a round steak we use for fajitas. Tonight we’re having a roast from the neck.”

Much as is the case with game meat, preparation is key.

“The flavor is wonderful,” Nancy said. “The big secret is, you can’t over-cook it. You can’t have it well-done.”

Nancy is passionate about spreading the word about the qualities of alpaca meat. While the meat is similar to elk, some have some hesitancy because it comes from, well… alpacas. As with any “exotic” meat, it takes some adjusting to the idea.

The couple sells alpaca meat commercially through the ranch, and also at Central Oregon Locavore in Bend.

For more information, https://www.alpacacountry

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 5415499941


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