Burgers Could Hide Hormone Havoc: The Truth Behind Beefed-Up Meat

Did you know that even if you avoid fast food burgers, the beef patty in your gourmet burger might also be harming your health and the environment? Before you take another bite, discover the dark truth behind commercially grown meat and what it may contain.

Antibiotics and Synthetic Testosterone

We are all aware of the antibiotic use on large-scale animal farms. Unfortunately, that practice is still prevalent today despite increased public awareness and demands for healthier choices. Besides antibiotics, what could also be lurking in your beef?

It turns out that synthetic testosterone-boosting substances are now used in growing animals, aimed at speeding up their growth. These chemicals don’t just affect the animals but also disrupt the hormones in your body and harm the environment.

Understanding Trenbolone Acetate

Researchers have studied a chemical called trenbolone acetate (TBA), a synthetic form of testosterone implanted into the ears of cows headed for the slaughterhouse. According to Adam Ward from Indiana University’s Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the cow’s metabolism converts TBA to 17-alpha-trenbolone—a chemical with similar hormonal effects.

17-alpha-trenbolone doesn’t just remain in the meat, but also travels through cow manure and reaches waterways like rivers and streams. It remains in the fertilizer used by farmers for food crops. Although sunlight breaks the chemical down, research shows the subsequent chemicals it turns into recombine after sunset, reforming 17-alpha-trenbolone.

17-alpha-trenbolone’s Environmental Effects

Ward’s research showed that TBA concentrations in streams are 35 percent higher than previously estimated, while biological exposure in the environment is 50 percent higher.

“These compounds have the potential to disrupt entire ecosystems by altering reproductive cycles in many species, including fish,” Ward said. “We expect impacts that extend through the aquatic food web.”

Moreover, TBA and other endocrine disruptors infiltrate drinking water sources. Any chemicals that enter water sources can be difficult to remove, which could create long-lasting effects.

How to Avoid Contaminated Beef

The first step is to eat grass-fed, pasture-raised meat. It is not just a healthier option for you, but also supports sustainable farming practices that protect our environment.

To find farms near you, visit Local Harvest. You can also purchase meat from an online farm, such as Eat Wild, which offers naturally-raised products.