I read an article on Naturalnews today about hormones in U.S. raised beef and had to share it with you because it just made me MAD. I can accept that to buy the best meat (pastured & local) I need to specifically purchase it from a small farm, but the beef that most people buy in stores should at least be decent- not outright dangerous.
According to the article, at least 1/2 of all beef cows in the U.S. slaughtered for food are treated with synthetic hormones (melengesterol, zeranol, or trenbolone) or natural hormones (testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone). As expected, the hormones cause weight gain in the cows, resulting in more meat to sell and thus higher profitability per cow.
Of course, the FDA claims that the hormone levels used are safe, but like many of their hap-hazard decisions, where is the data to back it up? In fact, Dr. Samuel Epstein from the Cancer Prevention Coalition stated that processed beef is not even checked for hormone residues. How do you like that?
Unfortunately, as you might guess, the additions of hormones to beef can affect the hormone levels in our bodies when it is consumed (especially in large quantities). The article also states that exposure to hormones such as in beef can lead to (surprise!) cancer and reproductive problems. The reproductive problems especially make sense since these are sex hormones being given to cows. It is unbelievable what we are doing to children by feeding this to them at a young age and through their developing years.
Another point that really sets me off is a direct quote from the article “Women in the United States are five times more likely to get breast cancer than women in the European Community or other countries that have banned the production or importation of hormonal beef.” I’m so glad the FDA is watching out for us here- NOT.
Why should we have to suffer because the necessary rules and regulations for food safety are not in place? I’d rather have beef shortages and turn to an alternate source of protein before consuming a food that will likely cause cancer! But, of course, cancer is a $200 billion industry/year worldwide (I’m betting the U.S. makes up a good chunk of this) so if our food was actually safe, this industry sure would suffer.
All in all, issues like this make me very grateful for small, local farms who truly care about the meat they are supplying to consumers. The value of having access to natural, pastured beef cannot be underestimated and is truly becoming a necessity considering the modern beef industry.