A Girl Who Loves Cows

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I grew up on my family’s cattle ranch watching my dad work hard everyday, never taking a weekend off or a stat holiday, watching our family business and my dad struggle when times were tough in the beef industry. However, through it all I have  managed to grow up and love cows, and love raising high quality beef for my family, friends, neighbour, fellow Canadians and other across the world to enjoy. When I was 21 years old and still in University I made the decision when I was done my degree in Education I was moving back to my hometown and going to ranch with my dad on our family operation. I did receive my bachelors of Education from the University of Alberta and 2 months after I moved back home I was offered a job teaching, so I took it and taught part time and worked on the ranch. However I really wanted to ranch full time, so that’s what  I am doing now. The reason I am explaining all this is because I want people to understand I gave up teaching to work on the ranch full time, I love it and this is my career, this is what I will be doing for the rest of my life. At 26 years old I am earning an income solely based in the agriculture industry and this was my decisions. When things happen in the industry they directly affect my life and my family’s. 

Right now there seems to be a huge interest from people to know where their food is coming from and I think that is really important people need to get back in touch with how food is raised or made. However, some information that consumers are receiving is from advertising, which can sometimes be misleading information. When there are claims made that one product is better than other because it is raised without growth promotants, for example, that leads consumers to believe that if a producers chooses to use growth promotants than that is wrong or an improper choice. When in reality the use of growth promotants is regulated and a lot of research has been done to ensure it has no affect on human or animal health. Moreover, there are rigorous testing that goes on to ensure the levels of hormones in beef do not exceed the levels set out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada.

I think its great for food companies to try and connect people with where their food is coming from, but in doing so they need to display all the facts and not pit one production method against the other. I believe we need all the different production methods, organic, natural, convention, halal, to give consumers a choice and let them pick what works for them. 

For the most part growth promotants are used in the finishing stages of cattle production. This is done because beef farmers are trying to produce more beef than ever before on a decreasing land base with an increasing population to feed. Growth promotants are used because they enable the animal to use feed more efficiently converting feed to lean muscle. Therefore, the beef industry is feeding people in a more sustainable and economical manner than ever before. 

In addition, no matter the production methods used, organic, natural, growth promotants, no growth promotants all beef in Canada goes through the same rigorous testing for quality and safety, so at the end of the day no matter what you choose to buy be assured that you are buying the finest beef available. 

Do these ad campaigns make you worried about hormone levels in your food? Check out this chart below!

 

 

Estrogen

 (nanograms)

Progesterone (nanograms)

Oral Contraceptive (per pill)

20,000- 50,000

100,000- 500,000

Hormone replacement therapy (per pill)

625,000

2,500,000

Beef from cattle NOT given hormonal growth promotants (100g)

1.5

27

Beef from cattle given hormonal growth promotants (100g)

2.2

44

Soybean oil, 15 mL

28,773**

Not applicable

Cabbage, 100 g

2,281**

Not applicable

Milk, 250 mL

35.9

Not applicable

**estrogen equivalent activity (i.e. in the form of phytoestrogens)  
Prepared by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Beef Information Centre  

           http://www.cattle.ca           http://www.beefinfo.org  

 

Here is a link to a Canadian Cattlemen’s interview regarding the new A&W ad campaign “better beef”
http://www.ipolitics.ca/2013/09/26/canadian-cattle-groups-respond-to-aw-better-beef-campaign/

Here are some FACTUAL resources if you are interested in learning more about the use of growth promotants in cattle production.

BC Cattlemen’s Association fact sheets.
http://www.cattlemen.bc.ca/docs/hormones.pdf

Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
http://www.cattle.ca/

Beef Cattle Research Council
http://www.beefresearch.ca/

Canada Beef Inc
http://www.beefinfo.org/

 

 

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5 thoughts on “A Girl Who Loves Cows

  1. Interesting read, well written and I love that photo!

  2. Debra M says:

    Great chart! I’ve never seen it outlined like that before. Thanks for the info.

  3. this is very interesting thank you…

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