From a Mom
I was relieved to get a little more information on the use of hormones in our meat and dairy.
I think the idea of hormone use gets a bad reputation because honestly it makes you think that cows are being grown to unhealthy proportions, like steroid use in athletes. I learned that some cows are given hormones to improve their daily weight gain (or improve their milk production for Dairy Cows). This is important because it speeds the time to market, therefore reducing production costs and retail cost to the consumer. It also is worth mentioning that there is a related environmental impact of having the cows take longer to market; more grain to grow for feed and more waste to dispose of, in simplistic terms. There is a slight increase in the estrogen levels presented in the beef treated with hormones, but it appears to be such a small amount that to me it is almost insignificant. In treated beef the amount in a serving of beef is 1.9 nanograms. A nanogram is one billionth of a gram so this amount is very small. But what makes it even less significant to me is that untreated beef for the same size serving still has 1.3 nanograms. So without even comparing beef to a vegetable like cabbage that has naturally occurring estrogen, the amount in discussion is only .6 nanograms. Literally this takes me into math that has too many zeros for me really to understand! I think my concern over things being added to my food is probably better spent on preservatives, chemicals, or fats that I know are not good for me.