Lately, one of the most frequently asked questions is "Are hormones used in livestick causing girls to become sexually mature earlier than in the years past?" I actually got asked this a few months ago at church and it continues to be resurfaced everywhere I turn.
Even though this is a common question among the American consumers, often times when we, as farmers and ranchers, are "on the spot," we are uncertain of the correct answer to this question. Some facts about hormones in cattle:
While it is difficult to be able to regurgitate all those numbers and exact quantities, in summary we can plainly see that 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. In fact, with the growing population of the world, implants are not only key factors but imperative in order for enough red meat to be produced to feed the people of the world.
- 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.