My View On Hormones In Food
Recent news article published on the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/31/hormones-in-food-should-y_n_815385.html) captures the picture of American mass food production today perfectly: “A salmon that grows to market size twice as fast as normal. Dairy cows that produce 15 percent more milk. Beef cows that grow 20 percent faster.” Whether you support this movement for hyper-production of meat or not, your choices are limited to buying organic or buying into the injected, implanted and genetically engineered super-growth meat that’s more commonly produced in this country.
Hormone use, I believe is problematic. Here’s why.
Problem number 1: Early maturation of girls
The hormones placed in our meats are transferred into our bodies upon ingestion. As young girls have been introduced to these additives, they are maturing at hyper-speeds, resulting in menarche (their first period) occurring earlier and earlier. Tragically, this has been shown to lead to increased risk of physical illnesses like heart disease (http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/12/31/us-early-menstruation-idUSTRE5BU2TO20091231) breast cancer (http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/57/1/82) and even depression (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/735376) later in these young women’s lives. Daily diets of hormone-infused meats are changing the health of our country, one young person at a time!
Problem number 2: Increased risk of breast cancers
According to natural health expert Andrew Weil, M.D., “Growth hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, are used in cattle and sheep… they are used in up to two-thirds of all American cattle.” These hormones are being proven to be a serious concern for their relation to breast cancer occurrences today. (http://www.livestrong.com/article/98816-effects-growth-hormones/)
Problem number 3: Fertility issues in men
Research shows a possible link between hormone treated meat consumption and decreased male fertility, due to hindered development in the mother’s womb. According to the Times, “New research has shown that men from the United States whose mothers ate beef at least once a day are likely to have lower sperm concentrations than usual, potentially affecting their ability to have children.” (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article1577308.ece)
Science is still evaluating many of these claims, however, I recommend that we be safe now by consuming as little as possible of food products with hormones. Purer is better, always, so eat grass-feed beef or other meats that are not raised with hormones. Also, know that soy products have a substance in it that mimics female hormones and may subject people to the same risks as hormones added to food products. Eat soy products in moderation… and forego hormone treated meats in exchange for hormone-free!