Growth Implants in Beef

In contemporary beef production, farmers and ranchers are striving to increase efficiency to feed an ever-growing world population. This includes manipulating diets, utilizing resources smarter as well as the use of growth promoting implants. However for all their practicality and safety, there are a few popular misconceptions about growth implant use and their effects. Here is a quick overview of how farmers are using safe growth promoting implants.

Efficiency is King as the world population is rapidly expanding. Current estimates hold that by 2050 there will be an additional 2.3 billion people on the planet. That’s a lot of extra food – in fact most sources agree that an additional 70% of food must be produced to feed all of these extra mouths. In an effort to meet this growing food demand, efficiency will produce the biggest gains. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations predicts 90% of additional crop production to come from increased yields and increased efficiency will need to be mirrored in protein production.

Farmers are already working to increase beef efficiency.

Farmers are already working to increase beef efficiency.

Beef producers are already increasing efficiency by conserving natural resources and altering diets through supplemental nutrition or other additions to rations to name a few. But increasing the amount of beef produced from the same amount of grain is supremely valuable to increased efficiency. Growth implants are invaluable to this strive to produce the most product with the smallest amount of resources.  A single implant can increase weight gains by 8-18%. This coupled with additional measures to increase productivity can significantly increase the amount of beef available for consumption.

These implants are safe natural hormones and their analogues that have been scientifically proven safe for use in animals as well as humans and have been cleared by the FDA. Many of the active compounds in growth implants are recognizable to anyone in a basic human anatomy course. Estradiol (estrogen), testosterone and progesterone are all naturally produced by the human and bovine body and are safe to be supplemented.

The levels of growth hormones in beef are miniscule.

The levels of growth hormones in beef are miniscule.

These hormones are found in small levels in beef and are much less than other food products, such as cabbage and soy. Some criticize the use of growth implants as altering natural hormone levels, yet the levels of estrogen in implanted beef are a mere .001% of the levels found in soy. To further place the depreciable amount of hormone residue in implanted beef into context, the average male produces 100,000 nanograms of estrogen while non-pregnant women produce 5,000,000 nanograms – implanted beef contains 10 nanograms per pound.

Growth implants in beef increase the efficiency of beef production to feed a growing world population. Not only do they help feed the world, but they do it safely by providing a nominal residue that is significantly less than normal human levels as well as levels in plant foods. So enjoy your steak happily, knowing that someone somewhere else gets to enjoy one too thanks to the use of safe growth implants.

Will Pohlman

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