You Should Know What’s Added To Your Meat

Eating Naturally Shouldn’t Be Hard

But between reading labels, deciphering buzzwords, and following new research, it’s harder than ever to make sure you know what you’re putting into your body.

There are certain things you know to look for: certified organic, sustainable, and grass-fed are all key qualities to look for when it comes to your meat.

Another thing you should be looking for?

Meat that is labelled “no added hormones” or “raised without antibiotics.”

Where do I find hormone-free meat?

If you are looking for hormone-free meat, you’re looking for something that doesn’t exist.

Hormones occur naturally in all living things. This includes plants, animals, and humans. It’s normal – and necessary – for animals to have hormones.

What isn’t necessary is for animals to be injected with hormones to help them gain weight faster.

When the label on your meat says “No Added Hormones,” it’s specifically referring to growth hormones and added steroids. Decades ago, it was discovered that injecting hormones into livestock would help them grow faster. This was great news for industrial farmers, but it’s not exactly great news for people who don’t need to ingest extra chemicals in their diets.

So what kind of hormones are given to cattle and livestock?

  • rBGH, or recombinant bovine growth hormone (specifically to promote milk production in dairy cows)
  • Estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone to promote growth and production
  • Steroid additives like estradiol to increase development
  • Man-made steroids from chemical compounds

Don’t animals need antibiotics?

If you’ve ever had something like strep throat, you’ve probably been prescribed an antibiotic.

Antibiotics are a type of drug that fights bacterial infections. Not everything that makes you sick is due to bacteria – many types of illnesses are viral infections, which can’t be treated by antibiotics. More and more, doctors are limiting how often they prescribe antibiotics because of the creation of “superbugs,” which are antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are getting more and more difficult to treat. This is attributed mainly to the overuse of antibiotics for things that don’t need to be treated by an antibiotic.

When antibiotics are overused, they become less effective and create bacteria that are potentially more dangerous.

So why are antibiotics given to some animals?

Sadly, it’s not just to treat illness. Antibiotics are often mixed into the feed for cattle, pork, and poultry because it makes the animal gain more weight in a shorter amount of time.

That’s right: even though we know misuse of antibiotics can create superbugs and cause health issues, they’re being given to animals simply so that they can be sold for a larger amount of money when it comes time to go to market.

What does this mean for consumers?

There are strict regulations about how hormones and antibiotics can be used when raising animals. Both Health Canada and the American FDA have policies in place that are meant to help reduce risk. Food is tested and inspected to ensure that antibiotic and hormone levels are not above the recommended levels.

However, the effects of added antibiotics and hormones in your food are still being studied. When it comes to your health, you may want to err on the side of caution.

How do you avoid added hormones and antibiotics?

There are a few steps you can take to make sure your meat is as natural and healthy as possible:

Look for organic meat: in order to be labelled organic, producers must meet a strict set of requirements. Organic animals must be fed 100% organic food and cannot be treated with hormones or antibiotics.

Read the label: Look for meat that is labelled “Raised Without Antibiotics” and “No Added Hormones.”

Know where your food comes from: As a consumer, you deserve to know where your food comes from. Purchasing from small-scale or local producers means you can get peace of mind when it comes to making sure you’re getting the best quality meat.

Naturally raised meat tastes better.

Get peace of mind when you stock your freezer with the Farm 2 Fork Sampler Variety Box. All our meat is raised without antibiotics and has no added hormones.