Are you worried about the quality of your meat, and wonder what all the recent fuss is about? In more recent years, the meat industry has been brought to the spotlight. More specifically, the quality of meat and products or chemicals that may go into them. While each company or brand is different, here we will explain why it’s important to know what you’re consuming and how to make the wisest choices for your health.
Antibiotics in farm animals have been around since the 1940s, primarily used to help treat infections in animals. As the industry grew, antibiotics have been used for other purposes, including growth promotion for increased products (like milk and meat), and to improve reproduction. So why is this important for the average consumer? Antibiotics can be harmful to humans and can produce side effects like allergic reactions or damage to our immune system. Additionally, bacteria have become accustomed to antibiotics and therefore naturally develop resistance, making the antibiotics ineffective. This resistant bacterium can be passed onto humans who consume animal products that have been treated with antibiotics.
It’s important to recognize the difference between hormones and added hormones. Hormones are naturally occurring in animals, just as they occur in humans. Added hormones, however, can be potentially dangerous to consumers. Many times, farmers or industries will administer hormones to their livestock to have a higher output volume. This means that they can get more milk or meat and have a higher profit. So, what’s the danger?
The most common type of added hormones come from synthetic estrogens and testosterone, often done by placing an implant in the ear of the animal when they are young. This consistently releases hormones as they age. Increased exposure to hormones can contribute to cancers, and estrogen has been directly linked with breast cancer. There is also concern about children consuming too many hormones, causing them to enter puberty quicker than intended.
Making the Right Choice
As a consumer, you want to make sure you eat what is healthy for your body. It can be difficult to know what is manageable for your body. When buying beef, make sure you look at the color, fat content, and brand. Meats that do not contain antibiotics and do not have added hormones are often humanely raised, which is desired by both animals and humans alike. Do your research on what brands align with what you are looking for.
Farmer Matt sells products that take ethical purchasing to a new level. Our Angus cattle graze on our pastures in the summer time and are able to feed on as much hay as they want in the winter and are free of added hormones and antibiotics. The farm takes a holistic approach to health–including soil testing and caring for the cattle.