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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Dennis T. Avery
Bio: Dennis T. Avery
Date:  June 26, 2006
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Topic category:  Other/General

The Truth About Natural Beef

Roy Moore of Denver’s Maverick Ranch Natural Meats has laid out on his website a very solid rationale for raising hormone-aided beef.

Moore notes that all plants and animals produce hormones. “They are essential for life. . .When hormones are in the correct balance, people have a better chance for good health and longevity.”

“One pound of soybean oil contains an average of 6,800,000 milligrams of estrogen. Compare this to one pound of steer beef that has received a growth promoting hormone which has an average of 8 nanograms of estrogen,” he suggests. “One pound of a non-implanted steer beef has only 6 nanograms of estrogen. Remember, a milligram is a thousandth of a gram and a nanogram is a billionth of a gram.”

In other words, you won’t get much estrogen exposure from your Maverick Natural beef.

The hormone-aided beef may even be healthier:

“As we age, our endocrine system produces less and less hormones. . . Women who receive estrogen therapy live, on average, two years longer than women who do not take estrogen during menopause. Even though women taking estrogen have a slightly higher (1 out of 1,000) risk of breast cancer, their risk of heart attack is 50 percent lower,”says Moore. “The risk of Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis is also 30 percent lower.”

Why does Mr. Moore use the feared estrogen implants? To make the beef leaner and thus more healthful—and to improve his feed conversion ratio.

“Twenty years ago, beef was much fatter than it is today. Steer beef used to have more fat than protein, and these steers often had 2-3 inches of backfat and the meat was loaded with marbling. . . .Compare this to the Maverick Ranch cattle of today that only average ¼ inch of backfat and have much smaller and fewer fat cells within the red meat.”

Most U.S. beef today is leaner, thanks to leaner genes--and the estrogen implants.

“Researchers found that a steer or spayed female puts on too much fat and does not deposit enough muscle (red meat). They also found that replacing a very small amount of natural hormone . . . had the same effect as exercise. The metabolism is stimulated and feed energy is converted more to red meat than fat. This provides a nutritionally superior beef product and a faster-gaining animal. . .We’ve had numerous consumers call us concerned about hormone levels in beef, not realizing that 99 percent or more of their daily estrogen intake is from fruits, vegetables and grains.”

Moore notes that the European ban on beef growth hormones is a trade barrier designed to prevent U.S. beef from competing with Europe’s own meat.

“European scientists have never been able to identify any harmful effects in humans from eating U.S. raised beef,” he stresses.

I wish I could say that Mr. Moore is as rational about pesticides. Which of course he doesn’t have to use unless he wants to keep flies and biting insects from making his cattle suffer needlessly.

Moore’s website has a section called “Alarming Facts About Chemicals in Our Food Supply.” By eating only organic fruits, vegetables and grains--plus his chemically assisted beef—he says you can “reduce your lifetime exposure.”

So? A 1 percent reduction in no risk is still no risk.

Paraphrasing Mr. Moore’s own defense of hormone-aided beef, let us point out that scientists have never been able to identify any beneficial effects of eating organic or “natural” foods.

As the cave men used to say, “All our food is natural. How come we all die before 30?”

Dennis T. Avery
Center for Global Food Issues (Director)

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Biography - Dennis T. Avery

Dennis T. Avery is a senior fellow for Hudson Institute in Washington, DC and the Director for Global Food Issues. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. Readers may write him at Post Office Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421.

Read other commentaries by Dennis T. Avery.

Visit Dennis T. Avery's website at Center for Global Food Issues

Copyright © 2006 by Dennis T. Avery
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