Myths About Hormones in Beef

 It seems like everyone is worried about the hormones associated with meat, especially beef.  Most of us would have to eat 5-10 entire cows to get as much hormone as we are already producing each day. And the truth is, hormones for cows have been around for more than 50 years.  Why the uproar all of a sudden?

They place hormone implants in the ear of the cattle and discard it when they are slaughtered so it isn’t in our food.  These implants have been tested thoroughly and continue to be tested to make sure they are safe for the cows and for us.As well, over 90 per cent of dietary hormones are broken down by the digestive tract and liver and have no effect on the body.

Over 90 percent of the hormones are broken down by the digestive tract or the liver and really have no effect at all.

It’s not hard to find headlines on the internet bashing hormones.  It is a topic like vaccinations, politic or religion – it’s news… and so the news runs with it… right wrong or indifferent.

You will find all kinds of studies that say that these hormones cause breast cancer or early puberty. But it’s simply not true and there are two sides to every story.

Both synthetic and natural hormones are used in implants. Synthetic hormones are exactly what they sound like – synthetic versions of the natural hormones. They need to be approved by the FDA just like the natural implants to make sure that there are no harmful effects on people.

Beef produced in the US live in pastures and then are finished in a feedlot with grain diet and growth hormones.  It’s less expensive than organic beef the require less pasture and crops to be fed.  This results in lower costs and that gets passed on to us.

Cattle produce their own hormone.  So even organic beef that are not implanted with hormones have naturally occurring hormones. So no beef it hormone free.  Any amount of beef or animal product will have some level of natural hormone.  I guess if you are totally against eating hormones you can become vegan.

When looking for meat that has not been given additional hormones (natural or synthetic) look for the label “naturally raised” or “organic.

There is also a concern about hormones in milk that cows produce.  FDA and other experts say that there is no evidence that any risk exists. Samples of store bought milk and organic milk were tested.  There were no difference in the amounts of hormones (IGF-1) between them.  As a matter of fact, our bodies make IGF-1 and you would have to drink about 100 quarts of milk to equal the amount of IGF-1 in your saliva. There is no evidence that there is an increase in IGF-1 levels from drinking milk and no evidence that drinking milk causes cancer.

Our environment is full of all kinds of things that could potentially harm us.  But it appears hormones in beef cattle and dairy cattle are not the culprits.

So go have a burger and a cold glass of milk!