When I changed my diet a year ago, I started paying more attention to hormones in meat.
Sure, these creatures have natural hormones, but what I worry about are man-made hormones pumped into their bodies.
What do those hormones do to my body when I eat the meat?
The debate rages on about this, with the government and farmers saying there is no danger, to consumers and health practitioners who want to further investigate links to higher rates of cancer and other illnesses.
If you are like me and want to avoid meats with artificial growth hormones, you should know that three types of meat have NO HORMONES ADDED.
That’s right. None.
Poultry and Pork
Poultry and pork have no added growth hormones. The USDA has strict rules about product packaging that says poultry is hormone-free:
Hormones are not allowed in raising hogs or poultry. Therefore, the claim “no hormones added” cannot be used on the labels of pork or poultry unless it is followed by a statement that says “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.” USDA
What you need to look for, though, are cage-free/free-range products with no antibiotics. (Antibiotics are also a hot issue, with much debate as to whether overuse of antibiotics in livestock hurt meat eaters.) You may also want to look for a humanely raised label.
Not only do some believe they are healthy for you, but they taste GREAT. I could not believe the difference in free-range chicken. The chickens are HUGE and so flavorful. My cats went crazier than normal over the meat (because you know my babies had some treats.) The homemade broth was to die for. I’ve never had chicken and dumplings like that before!
It’s fairly easy to find cage-free, antibiotic-free chicken. Aldi – my FAVORITE discount grocery store – now carries it.
However, I have never seen free-range or antibiotic-free pork. I know it exists. Check out this terrific article about raising free-range pigs from Smith Meadows. Willow Creek Farms is known for humanely-raised, free-range pork.
Bison is one of my favorite meats. It’s rich flavor and lean texture are instantly addictive – and the perfect addition to chili, tacos and soups. Bison are raised on the open range, according to the USDA. They also do not receive added growth hormones. The National Bison Association offers recipes and places to purchase bison in your area.
Beef is a problem. You really have to look around for humanely pasture-raised beef free of manmade hormones and antibiotics. Aldi now carries pound packages of beef that are free of added hormones and antibiotics. Applegate Naturals is also a terrific brand.
Do you worry about hormones and antibiotics in meat products? Do you buy free-range/cage-free? Why or why not?0