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

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sharing our Story - Hormones (cont.)

What are the hormones we use in the cattle industry?
The hormones that are used are estrogen and testosterone, or are the synthetic versions of the hormone.  They are the same hormones as those naturally synthesized by the beef animal.  The deposition of estrogen to the animal only increase the amount of the hormone found in each pound of beef by .2 nanograms as compared with cattle that have not ever been implanted.  That's right - even the all-natural beef, organic beef, or non-implanted grass-fed cattle contains only .2 nanograms of estrogen less than implanted cattle.

A pound of soybean oil contains nearly 900,000 nanograms of estrogen compared to only 1.7-1.9 nanograms found in beef - either non-implanted or implanted!

What is a 'nanogram'?
A nanogram is one billionth of a gram.
Why do we use hormones in the cattle industry?
The use of hormones in the cattle industry has been scientifically proven to increase average daily gain, appetite, carcass weight, and the overall amount of red meat produced by the animal.  The 'days on feed' at the finishing stage could be reduced, significantly declining the amount of resource inputs needed for finishing the animal for harvest.  Bottom line - they save time, money, and put more food on the table, faster.

The use of hormones helps improve the sustainability of cattle production and will more efficiently feed the rapidly growing population.

Another thing to consider is farmers and ranchers care about the products they produce and the consumers they reach -  from tomatoes to poultry, wheat to milk - and cattle producers are no exception.  If we were troubled about our product being harmful to either the animal or the consumer, it wouldn't be on the market.  It is the goal of a producer - no matter the sort - to deliver the optimal product possible.  Hormones, in the cattle industry, help cattle farmers and ranchers to better deliver more meat to the consumer while optimizing efficiency on their operation.

For more information, I strongly encourage you to visit the American Meat Institute's Meat MythBusters for some quick facts on FAQ's in the meat industry.  It will be well worth your time and it has some useful information that can be easily shared with others!

Also, a big thank you to Amanda Radke of BEEF Magazine's BEEF Daily blog for sharing a link to this site in her Tuesday's post. Thank you for reading and especially sharing, Amanda! And thank you to all my new readers and followers - I appreciate your support! Feel free to stop by the 'Because the West Wasn't Won on Salad' Facebook page to see pictures, discussions, surveys, and upcoming topics.

1 comment:

  1. So how much of a conversion difference is their? How "efficient" is it to add these hormones? Do you have any stats comparing product output of cattle altered with hormones and those that are not? I'm just curious since the amount of estrogen is so small if it makes a significant difference. Great post and thanks for answering some of my questions.