Hormones, Anti-Biotics, and the Beef on Your Table

Many people wonder about the safety of the hormones and anti-biotics used in mass-produced meat. Why are they used and what do you need to know?

The hormones used in raising large livestock – let’s use beef cattle as our example – are a combination of natural and synthetic hormones. The FDA “has approved a number of steroid hormone drugs for use in beef cattle… including natural estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and their synthetic versions. These drugs increase the animals’ growth rate and the efficiency by which they convert the feed they eat into meat.”

So that explains why hormones are used when raising beef cattle – increased growth rate with less feed. That equals more beef to sell at a lower expense. The safety of hormone use in cattle beef is widely disputed. While the FDA has approved the use of those listed above, the European Union does not allow the sale of U.S. beef treated with these hormones.

And while the FDA has found these are safe for adults to eat, there have been few studies done specifically about the effects of these trace hormones in growing children. There have also been few studies done specifically about women and certain cancers linked to hormones, such as breast cancer.

Anti-biotics are also often used not just on sick animals, but on all animals in a herd to prevent them from getting sick. This can allow some beef manufacturers to raise livestock in closer quarters (technically speaking, all beef cattle are “free range” but some have more space available than others), thereby increasing production and profits.

Pusheta Creek offers hormone-free and antibiotic-free steaks – juicy sirloins, porterhouse, rib eyes – plus clean, nutritious roasts, kabob beef, and hamburger. Feed your family worry-free beef that is also the most delicious you’ve ever tasted from Pusheta Creek.