Did you realize that you don’t need to?
Per federal law, hormone use is not allowed for growth promotion in hog farming or poultry farming. Hormones are sometimes used and allowed for reproductive purposes in hogs.
Therefore, grocery store labels reading “hormone free” on packages of chicken and pork are just marketing ploys for consumers to purchase these products.
In cattle farming, farmers are allowed to use growth hormones. The hormones are injected under the skin of the ear where the hormones dissolve slowly over time. This is not all that different from women using an IUD (slow release hormone) to control pregnancy!
Growth hormones are used to produce leaner meats more efficiently. They are in the ear because the ear is never used or consumed.
If this still makes you nervous, here’s a visual representation of the amount of hormones in the steak you might have on your plate.
If we use one M&M to represent the amount of nanograms of hormones in our foods, then a three-ounce steak would have half an M&M, while three ounces of cabbage would have a mason jar full.
There really is no need to pay more for hormone-free protein. If you feel better and safer about it, then buy it! But buy it with your eyes wide open.