hormones in beef cattle

Hormones in Beef

Hormones in Beef

Many who read on this topic may have researched hormones in their beef.   In short, the use of supplemental hormones in beef production has been scientifically proven as safe for consumers and is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, however there has been many approved drugs by the FDA over the years that have been deemed safe, then years later were taken of the safe list due to health concerns. Must we leave our health up to the FDA?

beef hormones

Let examine some of the justifications for the fact that Hormones appear safe, or at least that;s what we are told.Hormones are products of living cells naturally found in both plants and animals that often stimulate cellular activity. There are six hormones approved for use in beef production. Three are natural hormones (testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone).

Growth hormones in beef are primarily administered using a small pelleted implant that is placed under the skin on the back of the ear. The implants are designed to release the hormone slowly over time into the bloodstream. This ensures that hormone concentrations remain constant and low. Since the ear is discarded at harvest, the implant does not enter the food chain. Implants work by increasing the amount of growth regulating hormones, which are naturally produced by the animal. This, in turn, increases feed efficiency, protein deposition and growth rate. Implanted calves usually result in a 10-20% increase in average daily gain (growth rate) compared to non-implanted calves. Moreover, because of the increased feed efficiency, less feed is required which decreases production costs by 5-10%.

I don’t know about you but just the thought of a 1100 pound cow being injected with hormones over time makes me want to be a vegetarian.

beef hormones

Some consumers question whether consuming beef implanted with hormones can cause cancer or early puberty in children. Hormone implanted beef has never been implicated with adverse health effects in humans. However, height, weight, diet, exercise and family history have been found to influence age of puberty. Furthermore, the amount consumed in implanted beef is negligible compared to the amount the human body produces each day.

Regarding potential environmental concerns associated with growth hormones, the FDA has determined that the use of natural hormones in beef does not pose a risk to the environment as the amounts administered to calves are much lower than amounts naturally produced by adult cattle. Regarding synthetic hormones, extensive environmental risk studies have been conducted and the FDA has determined that the use of these hormones will not significantly impact the environment.

Most of the beef produced in the US spend most of their lives in a pasture and are then finished in a feedlot where they are given a grain fed diet. Beef that are finished in a feedlot with the aid of growth hormones require less total land mass, less feed crops and create fewer greenhouse gasses per pound of  beef produced compared to non growth hormone pasture based finishing systems.

Now let look at a study which proves the FDA may not be on the ball with their findings and hormones in beef may cause problems in puberty cycles of girls.

According to Cornell, there are actually six hormones commonly used in meat and dairy production: estradiol and progesterone (natural female sex hormones); testosterone (natural male sex hormone); zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengesterol (synthetic growth promoters that make animals grow faster).” Pirello urges

Yes its true that Organic grass fed beef will cost more in the long run, however if we do not focus on our health and well being and take charge of what we eat then what is life really about? Health in our opinion at Locust Grov Pastures is first and foremost.

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