Because if you don’t take seriously the importance of avoiding hormones, steroids and antibiotics in your food then you may be leveraging yours and your children’s futures.
More and more we are hearing stories about little girls entering puberty in grade school. Grade school. As in, second grade. And boys are also at risk because sperm counts are declining rapidly. Unlike girls, this can go undetected until he attempts to start a family. Sometimes, we see the effects of steroids and hormones when little boys start to get ‘man boobs.’ This is a direct result of consuming foods laced with hormones and steroids and should be viewed as such.
Whatever is in the food you eat goes into you. If a chicken was treated with antibiotics because it is produced in overcrowded facilities that are prone to infection, then you will ingest traces of these antibiotics when you eat the food. If a cow was treated with steroids to increase its yield at slaughter, then you will ingest traces of these steroids. Multiply this by the number of times you eat, and at very early ages children will start to be affected by these additives.
One of the reasons I love Trader Joe’s grocery store (besides their reasonable prices for organic foods), is that recently I had a conversation with the dairy manager. We talked at length about the importance of consuming dairy products that are processed from zero hormone-added livestock. He was very aware of the chronic onset of early puberty in this country and reiterated to me how senior management at Trader Joe’s is also aware and is dedicated to only providing hormone-free dairy products to its customers. I love this! Because we can’t all always shop at Whole Foods.
Trouble is, we all can’t shop at Trader Joe’s either, as it is not nationwide. That means there are folks in middle America who are challenged by sourcing food that is hormone, steroid and antibiotic free. Some of us are actually consuming government-issued dairy products that contain lots of hormonal additives, not to mention towns and cities across our nation that only offer hormone-laced dairy products.
That’s another reason we are seeing such an increase in antibiotic-resistant infections: if you consume meat from an animal that has been injected or fed antibiotics, you will also ingest the residue of these antibiotics and they will slowly chip away at your immune system.
So what’s the best choice?
Well, even if you live in rural areas, here are ways you can avoid meat and dairy products that have hormone/antibiotic/steroid additives:
1. Seek out local farmers. You can do this by visiting farmer’s markets that offer locally grown foods, many of which are organic and/or hormone free. Remember: organic doesn’t mean hormone free, although they do tend to go hand in hand. If you don’t have a local farmer’s market, then look into starting one. More and more our communities are getting back to basics, and if you search you may just be surprised to find out who’s cultivating healthy food alternatives right in your own back yard!
2. Shop online. Nowadays, for not much more than a few hundred bucks, you can get a freezer for your garage that will allow you to store food and produce you can buy in bulk off the internet. Wild Alaskan salmon is a great example of this — you can get fresh, flash-frozen salmon from several suppliers online at a much cheaper price than some of the high-end grocery stores. Farmed salmon is notorious for containing high levels of antibiotics, since farmed fish are more prone to infection. Most holistic practitioners will recommend you NOT consume more than one serving of farmed salmon a month.
3. Switch to Grass-fed, organic beef. Grass-fed meat has tremendous benefits for the body, namely that it actually contributes to the healthy cultivation of good bacteria in the gut!! We CANNOT overemphasize the importance of a healthy gut loaded with beneficial bacteria. Grain-fed beef will actually cultivate e-coli and other destructive bacteria that will weaken the immune system. Remember: Cows are omnivores, which means they are meant to eat one thing and one thing only: grass. Loading them up with grain is cheaper. But that means you’re getting a product that will do you more harm than good.
Recently, I had a client that would experience blood in his stool every time he ate beef. My suggestion of course was not to eat beef. But being a carnivore, and in excellent health otherwise, this was difficult for him to do. As soon as he switched to grass-fed beef, the blood in the stool disappeared.
4. Start using healthy cultured foods in your home that build immunity not tear it down. My dear sister in health, Jenny, has this MOST amazing website, www.nourishedkitchen.com. Not only is she a resource for places like Cultures for Health, but she will also teach you in the tradition of Weston Price how to create your own delicious and healthy food. She also has the YUMMIEST recipes on her site, as well as resources for all of the above. I’ve been making piima cream for years, it is a DELICIOUS and HEALTHY treat — you can put a dollop of it in soups and stews, on desserts and in drinks. I also just started making labneh — yogurt cheese — serve some of that on these yummy Raincoast Crisps and you’ll just be blown away at how nourishing and delicious it all is.
It’s not as hard as you think, eliminating hormones, steroids and antibiotics from your food source. All it takes is a little wising up: don’t sit back and say, ‘Oh, the government would never let us buy something in our food that was unhealthy.’ This is a victim mentality that will get you in trouble in lots of areas of your life. Take responsibility and ownership for you and your family. And don’t be the mom who has to have the puberty talk with a little girl who’s 8. Or the mom who has to console her son when he and his wife can’t buy a house because they have to spend their down payment for fertility treatments.
Remember, when a little girl matures too early it also inhibits bone growth and other development.
It’s not too late, just make the changes now.