Environmentally Friendly

<a href="http://www.cattlenetwork.com/content.asp?contentid=178614">New Report Says Beef With Hormones Produces Less Greenhouse Gas Emissions</a><br />n<br />n<blockquote>New Beef Eco-Report: Pound-for-pound, beef produced with grains and growth hormones produces 40% less greenhouse gas emissions and saves two-thirds more land for nature compared to organic grass-fed beef.<br />n<br />nTo reach these startling conclusions, analysts at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Food Issues used beef production models from Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions estimates from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC).<br />n<br />nMore than 95% of beef produced in the United States is raised on grain-based diets in feedlots, using supplemental growth hormones, both natural and synthetic. The report details the extensive human and environmental safety requirements for the use of supplemental hormones on feedlots, as well as the growing body of environmental monitoring studies showing no significant negative impacts from their use. Instead, the data show major environmental benefits of this production system: Saving 2/3rds more land for nature and producing 40% fewer greenhouse gas emissions per pound of beef produced.</blockquote><br />n<br />nI perused the whole report <a href="http://www.cgfi.org/files/beef-eco-benefits-paper.pdf">found here (PDF)</a> and found it very interesting. In most ways I can boil down what it says real quick.<br />n<br />nBeef produced in traditional feedlots using hormones, produces less greenhouse gas and takes fewer acres because they are alive for a shorter period of time. The hormones and grains cause them to reach a slaughter weight faster so the contribute less CO2 and methane to the environment than cattle that are naturally fed or organic since they need a longer time to reach slaughter wait.<br />n<br />nIf you really think about this it makes sense. The use of growth hormones is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get cattle to gain weight faster. I admit, I use them on my calves and I have no qualms with it. When I can receive more money for my cattle with no growth hormones in them than I receive after using growth hormones, I will consider stopping their use. The market isn't out there big enough yet though for me to do that. A lot of guys have stopped and made it work for them but I have not yet. Most of the people that are making it work are raising organic or natural beef. Some of the information in the report on growth hormones and what levels they are in the meat and environment are very interesting for those who get all freaked out by it.<br />n<br />n<blockquote>The whole world’s health experts say beef hormones are safe, not just those in the United States and Canada. So do the World Health Organization (WHO) and other European scientific bodies. The Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives of the World Health Organization and United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (WHO/FAO Expert Committee) calculated that even assuming the highest residue levels found in beef, a person consuming one pound (~500 g) of beef from an implanted steer would ingest only 50 ng of additional estradiol compared to non-implanted beef.3 That’s less than one-thirtieth of the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of estradiol for a 75 pound child established by the WHO/FAO Expert Committee. (See “ADIs Explained”)<br />n<br />nAnd don’t forget that our own bodies produce these same hormones every day in amounts a hundred times or more higher than found in beef. A pound of beef raised using estradiol contains approximately 15,000 times less of this hormone than the amount produced daily by the average man and about 9 million times less than the amount produced by a pregnant woman.</blockquote><br />n<br />nThe report goes on and on about this and really condenses the information down good as to how safe these growth hormones are.<br />n<br />nPeople can complain all they want about the agricultural system we have today which promotes feedlot raised cattle. If we want to economically feed people, these things are necessary. If you have enough money to chose a different way, more power to you. A lot of people don't have that choice.<br />n<br />nAs with every thing in life, there are personal decisions to be made here. If the thought of growth hormones in your meat bothers you then go ahead and buy organic or natural beef. No skin off my nose. It will cost you more, I've seen the prices of this stuff. Remember though, It takes a lot more of earth's precious resources then to make that beef for you and they add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in the process. It's up to you to decide which is more important to you in the long run. <br />n<br />n<strong>But you've got to make choices, and you're not going to be right all the time. Earl Butz</strong>