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Monday, March 7, 2011

Hormones in meat are the reason why people are reaching puberty early. Right???

Not quite so fast. Puberty is a result of reaching a certain weight and has nothing to do with the age of the individual. Once a person reaches a certain physical weight, the body tells itself that it has reached a mature enough level to move on to the next phase of production. Obesity percentage has been consistently increasing throughout the year, especially here in the United States (Figure 1). This increase coincides with the decrease of physical activity as shown in Figure 2. There are several reasons why activity levels have decreased but most of them have been associated with the level of technology. Whether you believe this is good, bad, or indifferent, it is what we have to work with each and every day.

Figure 1. Obesity Level

Figure 2. Physical Activity

So now you may be asking yourself, “Why do producers use hormones?” Producers use hormones to add to the effects that are already naturally occurring inside the body to increase production. All food that you eat has hormones in it, even if no artificial hormones were added. Hormones do not affect the quality or taste of the product either so it is a win-win situation.

As my fellow colleague Tera pointed out, the consumption of food has been dramatically increasing especially in meat and eggs. This is in large amount due to the fact of population growth. Figure 3 shows that by 2050 that there will be an estimated 10 billion people in the world. 10 billion people! We will have to be able to feed all of these people too. The best way to do this is to use hormones to get more production out of our current animals.

Figure 3.

The next time you go to the grocery store and see the advertisements, “No hormones added,” or “Hormone free,” remind yourself that there are still the same level of hormones in these products compared to the commercial products.

Take care,

Miles Theurer

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