Stories, opinions, facts, convictions, and lessons learned from a small town farm girl.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Are hormones fed to cattle affecting the earlier maturation of young girls, the muscle mass of young males, or the life expectancy of humans?


The question of the decade:  
Are hormones fed to cattle affecting the earlier maturation of young girls, the muscle mass of young males, or the life expectancy of humans?

As addressed in my previous post, growth-promoting implants given to cattle use small amount of hormones to increase the efficiency of muscle growth in the animal.  This, in turn, reduces the amount of fat deposition and increases the efficiency of feed conversion.  All of these things are necessary to sustain our growing population and increasing beef demand.

Before believing all the hype thrown about by the media on hormones given to livestock, I ask you to consider these facts:

  • The hormones found in implants, like estrogen, are found in all plants and animals.
  • A 3-ounce serving of beef from a steer that was implanted contains 1.9 nanograms of estrogen, while beef from a non-implanted steer contains 1.3 nanograms.  Only a difference of .6 nanograms is found from one another.
  • Now, consider this (all 3-ounce servings):  Soybean oil contains 168,000,000 nanograms of estrogen.  Wheat germ contains 3,400 nanograms and ice cream has 520 nanograms of estrogen.  Potatoes and peas both contain over 220 nanograms and even milk has 11 nanograms of estrogen per 3-ounce serving.
According to Dr. Rick Rasby, an animal scientist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, "the average man or woman daily produces 35,000 times more hormones than could be present in beef or any other food."

The long and short of it, hormones fed to cattle or any other livestock are not prevalent enough to harm humans or negatively affect their development or lifestyle in any way.

For references on statistics and information, view this article by Dr. Rasby or this article by Dr. Paul Beck, PhD, of the University of Arkansas.

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