Meat: Is It Safe? Essay

Meat: Is It Safe? Essay

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When ordering a steak from a restaurant one usually considers what they want on their steak, how they want it cooked, and if they want a side of potatoes or rice with that, but how often does one stop and think about how the cattle was raised. Many farmers today administer hormones into their livestock to increase weight gain, and to boost milk production in dairy cows. Though these hormones are beneficial to the meat and dairy industry, these injections may prove to be harmful to the consumer. Unless the cattle in which your steak was butchered from was organically raised you may be asking for a side of health problems with your meal.
The use of hormones in livestock dates back to the early 1930’s. It was discovered that when cows were injected with a substance extracted from a bovine’s hormone secreting organ, or pituitary gland, they produced more milk. Estrogen was also realized to accelerate the growth process of cattle and poultry. 20 years later a synthetic estrogen named diethylstilbestrol (DES) was used to beef up chickens and cattle. By the 1970’s DES use diminished because of the suspicion that the substance was a cause of cancer. Presently the United States still administers hormones in dairy cows and cattle to make the livestock produce more milk or develop more rapidly. In 2007 millions of livestock were slaughtered for beef. About two-thirds were administered hormones on a regular basis through an implant in their ear or through their feed. Around one-third of the dairy cows in the U.S. were injected with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). rBGH is used to make cows generate more milk. Even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) state that the ho...

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...c and the livestock, organically raised cattle is the route to take. Without hormone injections present on the farm, there would be no worries about the possibility of the drug increasing the chances of a person getting cancer, or having hormonal imbalances. With the lack of hormones, cows would also be healthier and live longer. Also, with the absence of hormonal injections there would be no need to worry about whether your next steak is served with a side of health problems.

Works Cited

James, B. (1999, May 4). Hormone in U.S. Beef Causes Cancer, EU Scientists Conclude. New York Times.
Kleinpeter, J. (2010). Frequently Asked Questions About rBGH . In Kleinpeter. Retrieved January 21, 2011, from
rBGH. (2008, July ). In Sustainable Table. Retrieved January 21, 2011, from

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