I came across an interesting conversation on Facebook the other day of people arguing about beef and the dangers of (as they called it) using growth hormones in the beef that we eat. One of the people engaged in this painful social media conversation that was filled of opinions and false truths was blaming beef growth hormones for the cause of problems in today’s children in regards to things like early development issues and a whole host of other problems. One of the few people to actually present a non-emotionally charged response offered up a good point about the amount of estrogen that naturally occurs in many types of food that are much higher than beef and a lot of us consume daily.
So I set out on another adventure to seek out the actual facts about just how much estrogen there is in a chunk of beef verse what I would get from eating non beef items. Here is what I found.
First off you might say what is estrogen, well estrogen is a hormone that promotes sexual and reproductive development, it is found in the human body in both females and yes even men, maybe even a little more in some men than we care to admit, hey, maybe that’s why I love to cook so much… well that’s for another day’s discussion….
Below I have listed several types of food and how many nanograms of estrogen each of them have per a 3 ounce serving.
- Soybean Oil 168,000,000
- Pinto Beans 153,087
- Eggs 94
- Milk 11
- Potatoes 225
- Peas 340
- Ice Cream 520
- Wheat Germ 3,400
- Beef with hormone Implant 1.9
- Beef with no growth hormones 1.3
Data collected from https://www.meatinstitute.org/index.php?ht=a/GetDocumentAction/i/82078
Basically if you eat 3 ounces of organic grass fed beef you will ingest 1.3 nanograms of estrogen, if you consume 3 ounces of traditional raised beef that had been given a growth hormone you will ingest a mere 1.9 nanograms of estrogen. What if you are not in the mood for a steak and want some ice cream, well you will intake 520 ng’s of estrogen.
So all in all if you are worried about the amount of estrogen you or your child is getting from a piece of beef that may have been raised with a growth hormone, chances are it has way less effect on you than eating something made with soybean oil which contains 168 million ng’s of estrogen. Oh, and watch out for fruits and vegetables, many of them also offer significantly higher amounts of estrogen that a good old fashion steak or hamburger. The point here is stop using beef as the scapegoat… it’s not the source of the problem that is causing early development problems in today’s children.
Below I have added a few info graphics that I found while researching estrogen in our food systems.