Are Hormones In Meat Affecting Humans
Eighty percent of U.S. cows are injected with hormones to increase their size, lean meat production and feed use efficacy. Although the European Union stopped buying U.S. meat in 1985 due to hormone use, the public opinion on its safety remains torn. U.S. cattle and sheep are fed, implanted or injected with hormones. Unless store-purchased meat is marked with USDA Organic Certified, there is a chance it contains residual hormones.
Is Organic Chicken Actually Better For You
“Going organic is a personal decision that is sometimes born out of emotion and not nutrition science,” Taub-Dix said. “It has been debated whether organic food, in general, is ‘healthier’ when it comes to nutrient profile.” Ultimately, if you can afford to buy organic chicken, Taub-Dix recommended doing so, citing a variety of reasons including animal welfare and antibiotic concerns. However, she noted that proper preparation of poultry is key and just because something is organic doesn’t mean that it won’t make you sick if it’s not cooked properly.
The Hormone And Antibiotic
If youre concerned about drugs in your meat, ask your butcher for organic cuts of meat from animals that have been raised without the use of antibiotics and hormones. They know this information, and its important to get into the habit of asking them these important questionsfor the health of you and your family. For example, in the case of beef, grass-fed is likely to be a healthier optionask if they have this option.
Alternatively, start looking for other sources of protein. Its now recommended that you eat four servings of seafood a week, so try swapping out some meat dishes for fish. Its a healthy source of protein and omega-3s that has a much lighter environmental impact than beef. If youre unsure whether the fish at your local supermarket was raised with antibiotics or hormones, speak to the fishmonger. They will be able to address your concerns and help you find the right product for your family.
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What Is The Difference Between Organic And Non Organic Meat
With growing concerns about obesity, cancer, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and other lifestyle-driven diseases, we are all more conscious about the things we eat. We are looking for heathier food options and many of us are generally more aware of the things we eat.
But its not only concern for our own well-being that drives us to choose organic. Organic products are friendlier for the environment as by definition organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge.
Fruits and vegetables are common organically grown produce. However, recently, more people have become interested in turning to organic eggs, milk, dairy, and meat.
What Is Organic Meat
The United States Department of Agriculture National Organic Program defines organic food in the following way:
Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge bioengineering or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.
For an animal to be considered organic, the USDA regulates several standards. Beyond eating organic feed and being free of hormone injections, an organic animal must spend time outdoors and have enough space to live what the USDA defines as comfortably.
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A Quick Note Before We Begin
Throughout this article, I will refer to various animals or meats as hormone-free. When I say this, I mean free of exogenous hormones. All animals produce hormones endogenously , and animals raised for meat are no different. Therefore, no meat is technically hormone-free, but some are free of injected or subdermally implanted hormonesand those are the ones I am writing about.
Hormones In Milk How Worried Should We Be
Many of us are becoming increasingly aware of how animal welfare issues impact on our own health. Part of this quest for the truth means that the secrets of mass dairy farming are fast becoming common knowledge.
As consumers, were getting worried and sales of non-dairy milks are soaring.
With anti-dairy campaigns filling the media and claims that cows milk contains a cocktail of chemicals, its no wonder were worried about the hormones in milk.
When we drink milk, what exactly are we drinking? What effects does it really have on our health? Is cows milk really as bad as critics say? Have the health implications been exaggerated to dirty the dairy industry?
Its time to check the ingredients ourselves and sort the myths from the facts.
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Is Organic Meat Better For You
Most likely youve heard the saying, you are what you eat. Well, that may be partially true, but an even truer saying is you are what you eat, eats. That saying is of course from the one and only Michael Pollan, a big proponent of eating natural foods. And while I advocate for a label-free way of eating and I indulge here and there in foods that may not be 100% natural, for the most part, I stick to a natural foods type of kitchen. And that includes buying organic, pastured or grass-fed meat. But do you need to buy organic meat and what is up with all the different labels on meat these days? What do they really mean? Ill be answering that in this post and I hope you find it helpful, so lets get to it
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Hormones May Alter The Composition Of Animal Products
Hormones are another factor to consider when weighing the merits of buying organic meat. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, zeranol, and trenbolone acetate are among the most commonly used hormones, typically implanted in the ear of the animal three months before slaughter to help promote growth . Most of these hormones have been banned in Europe since 1989.
Okay, but do we really ingest enough of these hormones to make a difference? Probably not, but studies have shown that hormones might alter the composition of the meat or dairy product in other ways. For example, while recombinant bovine growth hormone is not itself found to be present in dairy products , it may increase the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 . Increased IGF-1 levels have been associated with both colon and breast cancer . Today, the European Union, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and Canada all do not allow the use of rBGH due to both animal and human health concerns.
Misconception #: Corn And Soy Are Toxic To Animals
Cattle, poultry and hogs can eat soy and corn. Its how the grains are utilized in the diet that can make it hard for them to digest. No livestock producer only feeds corn and soy to their animals they balance their diets with other grains and grasses needed for proper development.
As part of increasing transparency questions being set forth by consumers, many people have begun to focus on what cattle, poultry and hogs are fed as part of their diets. Its important to understand that the focus on soy and corn in animal diets has developed because of the impact of soy and corn on the human diet. The rise in food sensitivities has left many people wondering if corn and soy should be eaten by the animals as the allergens in these two crops are believed to be transferred into peoples bodies as a result of eating meat.Before addressing this, lets back up to understand how the animals digest corn and soy.
Is Canadian Beef Hormone & Antibiotic Free
Surprisingly, no. Or maybe this is not so surprising. With the development in technologies and research and multiple ads from A& W promoting steroid and hormone free Teen Burgers, you would think its common place to have au natural beef.
Firstly, its important to remember that there is no such thing as hormone-free beef. Hormones are a naturally occurring substance that all animals and mammals produce. Each beef producer has the option to decide to use additional hormones in raising cattle. Its not as economical to go without them, which means you and I pay for their product. If a beef producer does decide to use hormones, there are strict federal and provincial inspections that test for residual levels of antibiotics and hormones. If the animal does not pass this test, it does enter the food processing step.
The truth is, Health Canada has approved three natural hormones and three synthetic hormones for use in cattle in Canada. The reality is as the demand for food increases globally, we need a way to produce higher quality protein quickly and efficiently. Thus, we are using both hormones and antibiotics in feed to allow us to produce lean livestock that are not being impacted by illnesses as much as they once were.
Antibiotics are used in cattle for two reasons:
So do the long-term consequences outweigh the potential benefits?
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The Real Deal: Truly Grass Fed Beef
While attending the Fresh Expo in Charlotte last fall, I met the team from Grayson Natural Farms, and tasted some of their delicious beef. The marketing manager Don Duncan shipped me a couple of their steaks and short ribs to try out now a slow cooked cut of meat will eventually tender up but true test is the steak.
Two good looking New York strip steaks where seasoned up and grilled to medium rare, and the result was delicious! Tender, melt in the mouth steak with robust flavor, for true grass fed beef, not supplemented at all by grain, this was quite amazing!
Don also shared with me the lab results of tests run on the beef, now typically conventional feedlot beef will have an Omega 6:3 ration of higher than 20:1, which makes it a pro inflammatory food, while grass fed beef is usually around 0.16:1,
The ratio on the result for Grayson Farms was an impressive 0.12:0.19, meaning this is a true healing food.
Of course I was intrigued to know the secret of how beef van be truly grass fed and yet so tender. Grayson Farms beef is raised in the mountains of Virginia on four different types of mineral rich grass. Strict sustainable farming practices and protocols are in place to ensure the animal is never given antibiotics or hormones and raised in a natural environment, and only fed silage during the winter made from Grayson Farms grasses.
Grayson Natural Farms is available in the Charlotte area at various outlets and to order online .
Growth Hormones In Poultry
Despite suggestive package claims on natural or organic chicken, no poultry in the United States are given growth hormones. Thats right: 100% of poultry is 100% hormone-free.
There are a few reasons why chickens arent given hormones, not least of which is because its illegal. Even were it legal to administer hormones to poultry, however, it would still be an uncommon because
Poultry is marketed as a lean meat, so changing the fat content without actually inducing further muscle growth serves no purpose and is even contrary to a poultry producers goal. Considering further that the purchase and application of all those hormones would be challenging, costly, and illegal, you can be assured your poultry is all hormone-free.
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Organic Vs Conventional: Fatty Acid Profile
Fatty acids are essential to health and are one of the key areas where organic and conventional meats differ. Two recently published meta-analyses assessed the differences in fatty acid composition between organic and conventionally raised meat and dairy products. Well look at the findings of each in more detail.
Meat: The amount of saturated fat was similar in organic and conventional meat, while monounsaturated fats were slightly lower in organic meats. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were 47 percent higher in organic meat . Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and have been shown to be protective against cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline .
Dairy: The amount of saturated, monounsaturated, and total polyunsaturated fatty acids was similar in organic and conventional milk. Organic milk had 69 percent higher alpha-lipoic acid than conventional milk. ALA is known to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol and enhance its clearance from the bloodstream . Organic milk also had 41 percent higher conjugated linoleic acid and 57 percent higher omega-3 fatty acids.
So what about the organic method is driving this difference? The authors suggest that the pasture-based diets prescribed under organic farming standards are the primary reason for differences in fat deposition in the meat. This is consistent with differences seen between grain-fed and grass-fed animals, as well come back to later on.
Five good reasons to choose organic meat.
Is Organic Better For Your Health A Look At Milk Meat Eggs Produce And Fish
Organic or conventional? Its a choice many grocery shoppers are faced with, over and over. The price difference is easy to see its right there on the product. The quality difference is much harder. Is the organic milk better for your kids? Is the conventional lettuce more likely to carry pathogens?
Leave aside for the moment whether organic agriculture is better for the planet and whether organic livestock have better lives, although theres a strong case for both of those arguments. Leave aside flavor, too, because its subjective and variable. What motivates many organic buyers, particularly the parents of small children, is health benefits, and there are two questions: Do organics do us more good , and do they do us less harm ?
Because the risks and the benefits vary by product meat is different from produce its important to look at each category separately. While every category has the potential to harbor pathogens , there are some product-specific concerns, including pesticide residue in produce and hormones in milk.
Heres a rundown of the evidence on nutrition and contamination levels for organic and conventional products in five categories milk, produce, meat, eggs and fish to help you decide whether to buy organic or stick with conventional.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture tests for pesticide levels and has found them to be very low. The main culprit is DDE, a remnant of the agricultural pesticide DDT.
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What Should I Put In My Coffee
The dilemma of hormones in milk is unlikely to be resolved any time soon. The truth is that there is very little solid scientific evidence to verify the long-term health implications of drinking milk. Either regular or organic.
The battle between plant-based nutritionists and the dairy industry will wage on for a while yet.
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Whats Up With Conventional Meat:
Before I get into the health issues of conventional meat, I want to touch on the social and environmental aspects. Factory farmed animals or Confined Animal Feeding Operations are hidden behind closed doors for a reason. They are not a place anyone would want to visit. The images we see on TV showing a cow in a big beautiful farm eating grass simply isnt true for the vast majority of the cows that end up in grocery stores. Same goes for other animals like chicken, pigs and even factory farmed fish. I can remember reading the book Eating Animals which described in details how these CAFO work and it is not pretty. Prior to reading this and opening my eyes to the horrors of factory farmed animals I had no idea. Because it isnt just how they are treated when they are alive that matters, but the slaughtering of the animal can also be done in a more ethical and humane way and that just doesnt happen in CAFO raised meat. This is one major reason why I prefer to support local farms and farmers that take pride in raising their animals from the time they are born to the time they are slaughtered.
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Is Organic Chicken Really Better For You A Nutritionist Weighs In
If chicken is on your grocery list which wouldn’t be too surprising considering the average American eats over 93 pounds of chicken each year it might be time to take a closer look at that package label.
Many people often have a go-to package of poultry, whether it’s skinless, organic breasts, pre-frozen tenders or a whole bird for roasting, but with ever-expanding options lining the poultry aisle, it really does pay to pay attention to what you’re buying.