3

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Even hormone-free meat has hormones in it?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 22, 2012 at 8:13 PM

After I was finished being all smug about my grass-fed, cruelty-free meat-eating habits, a vegetarian friend of mine told me that even hormone-free meat can contain harmful hormones because the stressful butchering process induces raised cortisol levels in cows which gets in the meat.

Sounds like total B.S. to me, but thoughts? Studies? Where does this idea come from?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 23, 2012
at 03:32 AM

My concern with hormone treated is the synthetic hormones. Thanks for the link.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 23, 2012
at 02:32 AM

All cows are atheists. They find the whole god question moo-t.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 23, 2012
at 02:10 AM

A vegetarian diet is perfectly healthy (including dairy and eggs), the problem with veganism is not even an issue of getting adequate protein...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 23, 2012
at 02:09 AM

Even the difference between hormone treated and not hormone treated meat is minimal: https://twitter.com/robbwolf/status/233657199950430210/photo/1/large

429e01b74c31847aed3af35ef9973256

(427)

on August 22, 2012
at 10:16 PM

You still have to prove whether the hormones are biologically active after you eat them and whether or not they're even problematic.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on August 22, 2012
at 10:06 PM

^You described a CAFO slaughter and thus you did not describe organic grass-fed meat slaughter. Many organic meats are slaughtered on-site. The ones I've visited anyway had on-site slaughterhouses.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 22, 2012
at 09:16 PM

Angst = ngs ....

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 22, 2012
at 09:16 PM

He also had a slide comparing the hormones content of meat and daily human hormones production. 100000s of ngs per day for humans. Less than a few angst for a serving of beef raised even WITH hormones.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on August 22, 2012
at 08:55 PM

ah, useful, thanks!

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on August 22, 2012
at 08:54 PM

I think the stress at slaughter might be a lot worse than the stress of being hunted down in the wild because it's a long, drawn out, slow and painful process (travel by truck, holding pens, packed into small spaces with lots of other cows, etc.).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 22, 2012
at 08:38 PM

Seriously? Not a biology major or anything, but I thought cortisol got released into bloodstream, so unless you're eaten the animal blood, it probably will not contain any cortisol. This would especially not be a problem if you're buying lean meats- as hormones are fat soluble.

0e5045fb58c84420a8eb7ee8d41dfc12

(258)

on August 22, 2012
at 08:33 PM

I can't imagine the stress near slaughter (even at the worst slaughter house) could be any worse than the stress induced by being hunted and chased in the wild. So, from a paleo perspective, our bodies should have evolved to handle those raised cortisol levels.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 22, 2012
at 08:23 PM

I've heard that stress near slaughter can affect meat quality, so there could be something to it, but probably not as much as your pal is making of it.

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10 Answers

13
Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on August 22, 2012
at 08:40 PM

Read this post by Peter Ballerstedt a forage product manager. He presented at the Ancestral Health Symposium this year.

http://grassbasedhealth.blogspot.com/2011/06/hormones-and-nitrites-and-antibiotics.html

Some relevant quotes:

"First of all, there is no such thing as hormone-free food. All multi-cellular organisms contain hormones, whether they are cattle, cabbages, chickens ??? or people. Livestock and poultry can be grown without added hormones, but they cannot be hormone-free."

"Hormones like estrogen are used in modern beef production to increase the amount of lean beef that can be harvested from cattle. These hormones are the same as, or synthetic versions of, those naturally produced by cattle. But the amount of estrogen in beef, from either implanted or non-implanted steers, is a fraction of what is found in soybean oil, wheat germ, eggs, and what is produced by the human body (Rains, 2009)."

So, the bottom line is yes, there are hormones. However, the tofu and pinto beans your vegetarian friend eats have about 100,000 times the estrogenic activity of even conventionally raised meat.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 22, 2012
at 09:16 PM

He also had a slide comparing the hormones content of meat and daily human hormones production. 100000s of ngs per day for humans. Less than a few angst for a serving of beef raised even WITH hormones.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on August 22, 2012
at 08:55 PM

ah, useful, thanks!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 22, 2012
at 09:16 PM

Angst = ngs ....

3
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on August 22, 2012
at 08:30 PM

You should try buying Halal meat then, hoping that a soothing prayer or two will relax the animal, before some bugger slits its throat. Not sure it would work so well with an atheist cow.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 23, 2012
at 02:32 AM

All cows are atheists. They find the whole god question moo-t.

1
45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on August 23, 2012
at 01:38 AM

Really? Your vegetarian friend mentioned this? While your meat may have some natural hormone content, your friend's soy products most definitely do.

1
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 23, 2012
at 01:13 AM

Not being fed hormones and not containing hormones are two different things. Even plant material contains hormones. Neither plants nor animals could reproduce without hormones.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 23, 2012
at 02:09 AM

Even the difference between hormone treated and not hormone treated meat is minimal: https://twitter.com/robbwolf/status/233657199950430210/photo/1/large

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 23, 2012
at 03:32 AM

My concern with hormone treated is the synthetic hormones. Thanks for the link.

1
830834a8d5c4d1c4a16b2dbbdf30de5e

on August 22, 2012
at 08:50 PM

well...hmmm

lets look at this from the perspective of 100, 200, 300, 1000 years. At some point men chased down animals to kill them to survive. That is stress as well for the animals, I'm sure the same hormones were pumping thru its blood just as much as a modern day slaughter house. All animals have some level of hormones in there system. Its how we function, how our bodies communicate internally.

I have to laugh when some athlete is 'busted' for testosterone...duh. They need to be more specific. I would think that high level athletes would naturally have higher levels of testosterone. If its synthetic then say it!

0
F891e7b1cbbbe3838c9bba9ff78aa3ed

on August 22, 2012
at 09:44 PM

The funny thing is English bulldogs used to "bait" the bull to get the levels up before slaughter thinking that the meat would be better for them or more flavorful.

0
172d392dcccea6e6ea59b635e84e8a95

on August 22, 2012
at 08:59 PM

Then eat a pig butchered at a small local abattoir, I took my two pigs to be butchered and watched while they did it. They shot one and the other didn't even care, it slurped the blood off the floor while the first was being butchered. Gross, but that's a pig. Or deer you shoot and butcher yourself. Or raise and butcher your own chickens or rabbits. You could even do that if you lived in town.

0
F6ce9302d62d8b4a1ef2fc813c294770

(510)

on August 22, 2012
at 08:52 PM

I've looked at the scientific studies...it is indeed true that even "no added hormones" meat has hormones in it. But not levels that will hurt you. Eating an entirely vegetarian diet though, that will hurt you. Because you would never get enough protein without eating grains and legumes. And if you eat too many grains and legumes, then you will get sick.

Dairy products, however, contain A LOT of hormones. Avoid them. Unless you are an infant and it is human breast milk.

Here's the citation of just one scientific study on this topic:

Hartmann, S.; Lacorn, M.; Steinhart, H. Natural occurrence of steroid hormones in food. Food Chemistry 1998 62 (1) 7-20.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 23, 2012
at 02:10 AM

A vegetarian diet is perfectly healthy (including dairy and eggs), the problem with veganism is not even an issue of getting adequate protein...

429e01b74c31847aed3af35ef9973256

(427)

on August 22, 2012
at 10:16 PM

You still have to prove whether the hormones are biologically active after you eat them and whether or not they're even problematic.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on August 22, 2012
at 08:39 PM

Seriously? Not a biology major or anything, but I thought cortisol got released into bloodstream, so unless you're eating the animal's blood, it probably will not contain any cortisol. This would especially not be a problem if you're buying lean meats- as hormones are fat soluble. Also, I don't think many hormones can withstand the digestion process.

0
E40b2fc9ddcf702bab9d61d28b8c8440

(505)

on August 22, 2012
at 08:38 PM

I've heard this as well, from a company that uses air-powered rifles to shoot deer from distance in fields, and has a mobile abattoir so they can butcher them immediately. They claim that their venison tastes better than other farm-raised deer that are taken to a slaughterhouse for this reason.

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