I read an article in the Huffington Post about a very controversial topic regarding food today, which is the use of hormones and whether we should be worried or not. Hormones are being used to generate cows that produce more milk, salmon that grows twice as fast, beef cows that grow 20 percent faster, among many other things. The big question regarding all of this is whether humans should be worried. Are these hormones dangerous to the humans who ingest them?
One of the major concerns is whether the manipulation of hormones could lead to the increase of other hormones such as insulin-like growth factor (IGF). This hormone which is a result of the use of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) has been shown to lead to different types of cancers in humans. This obviously raises quite a few concerns about the use of the legalized rBGH. However, this IGF comes from a multitude of sources including the largest one of all, our own bodies. The IGF in the products which additional hormones is nowhere near the amount of IGF our body creates on its own. So the question becomes how much of an effect do these products really have on us?
Another concern is whether additional estrogen is leading to early puberty. Most cows today receive doses of estrogen and other hormones by an implant in their ear. Some are concerned that this is leading to the early puberty in children. Children are going into puberty at a younger age than those in previous history and the causes still remain unclear. Once again this goes back to the point of where the estrogen is coming from. The amount in the meat is far far smaller than the estrogen created in our bodies. So again the question must be asked whether estrogen we receive through these meats is really contributing to this problem.
Personally I would eat either organic or inorganic food at this point with one major reason. There is not nearly enough research to understand the effects. At this point in time we really do not know whether these hormones will have lasting effects or any at all on humans. We know what they can do, but that is far different than seeing the actual results. So, I would have no problem buying meat that does not have the organic label. Another reason being that usually organic meat runs at a much higher price than those without the label. To me, organic labeling has just become a word to give people peace of mind. Until I see conclusive results regarding the use of these hormones I really don’t need that.