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Thread: Hormones in Beef - what do you think?

  1. #1
    jpickett1968's Avatar
    jpickett1968 Guest


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    The last few days I've been tweeting back and forth with a cattle rancher in my state of South Dakota. His family and a few others raise cattle in a grass fed environment and then finish them off at a separate facility with corn/grain fed measures. Michael Pollan even traded emails with this guy as I have learned since Pollan purchased a steer from the family and had it raised on this rancher's land.

    I'm trading questions with him about why corn is used vs. grass, the use of hormones, how Monsanto preys on farmers, etc. I'm attempting to do so in a non-hostile way and he is answering back as I would expect. Here is his latest piece of documentation he has sent me about why hormones are safe for beef. Take a look for your own review. What are your thoughts or what would you say in defense of no hormones?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    SF Bay Area

  3. #3


    jpickett1968, I'm in Rapid City, and it is easy in SD to find a rancher that adds nothing to their cattle! I'd just have to go on the premise that the closer to nature, the better! I found a rancher local to me that sets aside a few cattle each year that just get turned out to the pasture and slaughtered and packaged locally for direct sale. Nothing altered or added to the animal's feed, no shots, no vaccines, no hormones. These are sold to friends/family/those who come asking.

    I also got liver, heart, tongue, oxtail, and marrow bones from mine.

    The remainder of his herd is sold through auction and go off to this or that feedlot/slaughter house. Just a cog in the machine, and that is how the bulk of his income is made. Slowly, as educated Primal purchasers come to him direct, that may become his main sales source!

    Oh, and too your question about added hormones, I'd just ask the rancher, why risk it?

  4. #4
    jpickett1968's Avatar
    jpickett1968 Guest


    Thanks for both responses. I enjoy reading the evidence to make an informed decision. With everything added here and there, it can't hurt to err on the side of caution at the very least and buy grass fed.

    Thanks Acmebike for your recommendations. I've emailed a few local folks and await their response. In the meantime I need to buy a deep freezer to store that meat in!

  5. #5


    Do you suppose Pollan's beef was fed corn and treated with hormones? The ranch I've just got my "veal" (this spring's calf, just a little guy, 200# packaged meat) from has these few cattle held back from the shots, feed and such only as a matter of being cheap. Lately he's seeing people wanting the wild raised cattle for the health benefits.

    Indeed, get a freezer and fill it up! You can get wild raised local beef for under $5 a pound average, sealed in vacuum bags and frozen (it'll keep 18-24 months, EZ) pretty easily. And if you request it, you'll likely get ALL the liver, hearts, bones, oxtail, tongues etc from several animals at a time for free, most folks don't want it.

    Primal Clubber's link puts hormone raised beef and dairy into great doubt for me. If in doubt, leave it out, eh?

  6. #6
    jpickett1968's Avatar
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    My online conversation with this rancher demonstrates him to be a fairly intelligent guy, just perhaps misled or conditioned to think the way that he does since ranching is his bread and butter.

    I'm on the lookout for a deep freezer. With a birthday in February, I'll cross my fingers. Plus, it turns out my mom-in-law's brother runs a meat locker (small world!). I'm checking in to see what grass fed items he can hook me up with.

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