HORMONES IN MILK: SHOULD YOU WORRY?

June is Dairy Month and honestly, we haven’t celebrated it up like we should!  So, in order of one of my favorite months (ice cream for dessert every night!) I thought I’d bring you some information about one of the most concerning aspects of milk for the average joe: hormones.

Reference these facts by South Carolina Dairy farmer Caci Nance:

  • Milk has hormones because it is a product of nature. Hormones are naturally present in all milk, whether it comes from a cow, a goat, or even a human.
  • Hormones are just proteins, and most–up to 90 percent of them, in fact –are destroyed through the process of pasteurization. The small amount of protein that may be left after pasteurization gets broken down through digestion in your stomach, just like protein in other foods.
  • There are hormones in almost all of the food we eat. Lettuce has hormones, for instance, and cabbage actually has a very high level of hormones.
  • Hormones are never added to milk. Most dairy farmers do not give their cows a supplemental hormone, called rBST, to increase milk production. The Midwest Dairy Association reports that only 30 percent of U.S. dairy farmers choose to use rbST with their herds, accounting for 20 to 25 percent of cows. Notably, rBST is not added to the milk itself, but rather is administered to some cows in some herds. Repeated studies by the FDA have found rBST to be a safe and effective way to increase milk production and ensure a plentiful milk supply.
  • Farmers are consumers, too. We would never add something harmful to the food supply that is unsafe or dangerous because we eat the same foods that other consumers do.

Knowing this should help calm your fears, but what if you have more questions?  Well, the comments in this original blog post are a treasure trove of answers.  Go now.  Read the comments.  Add  a question yourself. 

And then put milk, cottage cheese, and ice cream back on the menu for tonight.  It’s Dairy Month after all!

Lindsay Mitchell
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Director

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