Should I be concerned? Bovine Growth Hormone in Milk?


Hi there Moms and Dads!
I was reading in an article that children may go through puberty earlier due to an increase of hormones in food (especially milk)and the enviornment. I was just curious if anyone is familar with this, or if it is just hype.



i think the rBGH thing is more hype than truth. The beef that is fed hormones for increased beef profuctionis a problem, tho… I think the number one enemy in out environments are plastics and their ilk. i use only glassware and the like for heating and reheating… i try to avoid plastics in all their forms.
also, a HUUUUUGE compound that makes me VERY nervous are the parabens family of chemical.

methylparabens, butylparabens… look them up on your favorite skin creme, moisturizer, hair gel…
they mimic female hormones and do very wierd and funky things in the human body.
they are in MANY things… beware… i’m convinced in years to come there will be chemicals used today that we will shudder at the thought of using.

Just remember The January/February 2004 issue of the Journal of Applied Toxicology revealed traces of parabens in breast cancer tissue. makes you wonder.

also, the huge obesity epidemic in our youth has messed up their hormones in many cases… and xeno-estrogens in the environment…

sheesh. now i’m all scared.


The milk thing might be hype but we decided that since our kids drink SO MUCH MILK (that’s pretty much all they drink) we’d go with the hormone free. It’s a bit pricey… but worth it… maybe?

If it got to the point that we just couldn’t afford it, I don’t think I’d worry too much.


Chris, I’ve been shying away from the parabens lately (using mineral makeup and shampoo bars and such) but I didn’t really know why, except a vague sense of “badness”. That’s scary stuff.

Lynn, I believe we are in the same parish. I recognize your blog address. I avoid the hormone laden milk. I don’t know for sure that the milk is to blame for the earlier onset of puberty. I used to think that was just the result of “good” nutrition. When calories are abundant, the females go into baby-making mode earlier. But I no longer think that is the case. I don’t belief that in other cultures, even those with abundant food, puberty comes so quickly, and puberty comes just as quickly to Americans with terrible diets as it does for those with moderate diets. Puberty may start later when malnutrition is a problem, but barring those extremes, I think early teen years are the human norm through history. Now we get our first periods at 10 and 11. Exposure to synthetic hormones comes from not only the dairy products, but the meat itself. Sure, the greatest quantity of hormones goes to diary cattle, as opposed to those raised for beef, but what’s surprising is that we eat a lot of old dairy cow around here. My mother attends a nutrition class run by a dietition (part of her diabetes treatment), and recently reported back to me that the national percentage of beef that comes from dairy cows is something like 30% (memory failing me on that one) but that in NYS (and even if you aren’t the Lynn I know, I see from your profile that you are in NY) it’s 60%. So all those hormones end up getting two chances to get into your system–when you drink the milk or eat cheese, and when you eat beef.

If you are in the area I think you are, you know all about “food you feel good about”, which is what my family tries to stick to, especially with regard to beef and chicken. We buy the hormone free milk and spring for organic whenever we can.

Really, all these potential dangers (including the dangers to chastity when you pump your body full of hormones that trigger sexual maturity at age 10 and then set up an educational system that prolongs adolence into the 20s) just highlight for me the necessity of responsible stewardship of the earth and its animals. Even though I feel “safe enough” with the hormone free milk, I still aim for organic because even cows that aren’t getting shots to increase lactation are still separated from their newborn calves (who are then put on formula, which just boggles my mind) and that just breaks my heart. If the quality of life of our animals–even those that are born to be eaten–matters to us, I think we will benefit at least as much as they do from it.


I read an article (and posted on it) in another thread…the one about soy products. The article was entirely about “precocious puberty” and ways to prevent it. Along with “going organic” with milk and meats, the article also mentions as big problems the things that Thechrismyster mentioned: plastics (specifically the prescence of phthlates) and personal products (along with a lot of common cleaning supplies).

To avoid the plastic problem, it recomends not heating things in plastic, and purchasing more natural personal care products. Nail polish seems to be a big culprit…the article put more emphasis on girls showing earlier signs of puberty. My mom’s best friend sent me the article…she has two daughters who are young teens now (I used to babysit them when they were little:o now they are taller than me…sigh). Anyways, she sent me the article b/c I’m expecting baby #1.

I haven’t tossed out my nail polish yet, or completely switched to organic milk…but I think I will slowly begin the process of revamping my lifestyle. I’ve also not researched this extensively so…I am open to other ideas about it. But it seems to make sense to me.


It sounds as though I have been found out! St. Anne’s Church I believe? As soon as you mentioned good ol’ Wegmans… :wink: You are at an advantage, as you don’t have anything listed on your profile!

You raise some very interesting points. I was shocked to see that the organic milk at Wegmans is $6.00 a gallon! It is very concerning though and I think that it requires serious thought about how to adjust the family menu so that we are able to cut down on these hormones.



Wow, $6 a gallon? I’m lucky that I can get locally produced organic milk, then for about $3.50 -$4 a gallon. It’s hormone free and also has not additives (vit A and D) and is not homogenized. We’ve been very happy with it. I can’t afford all organic, but we do what we can. We buy a locally organically raised cow for our freezer. I do think our plastic may go next. It’s just so hard to store glass containers.



So I’m totally freaked out thinking about all the plastic my kids are exposed to… plastic plates, cups… bottles. YIKES! I have a friend who refuses all plastic but I thought she was just a bit wacked but now you’re saying no to plastic also? So what do you use - only glass? Heads up… that’s going to be tricky when the little chrismyster comes… toddlers love to throw their cups & plates. I also heard that colorful glass dishes (the pottery type) are a HUGE no-no because they are painted with lead based paint. So are we left with just plain white?

Any other opinions? Hope this isn’t hyjacking the thread… but I previously said we use organic milk… but my kiddos drink it from a plastic cup…


i perhaps wouldn’t worry about the hard plastics with cold foods and drinks…
but NEVER reheat in the microwave in plastic. cook in plastic. use plastic wrap touching foods in microwave ovens…
those are the usual scenarios for plastic leeching into foods.

i drive my wife completely nuts…

i also don’t use teflons or non stick pans… i’ve converted to all stainless and cast iron for cooking.
little chrismyster will have glass bottles and in coming years, cereals and cold foods, plastic ok… heated and reheated foods… ceramic, glass, earthenware…

scary stuff!


We use organic milk and dairy because of this issue and limit our beef consumption.

I also never put plastic in the microwave.


We have used organic milk for five years now, after having read about the growth hormones.


Thanks all for the head’s up about plastic. We are making changes around here… no more plastic in the microwave!!! :thumbsup:


Now I’m going to be paranoid about plastic! I put my leftovers in those Glad plastic containers!

About the colorful pottery plates–lead is very rarely used anymore, at least not by any smart potter or manufacturer. Most potters will let you know if their wares are lead free. I’d be paranoid about things made in other countries, that don’t have our strict regulations, or pieces from flea markets (lead used to be the most common flux in glazes, now it’s not). Most things from China will have a stamp on the bottom that says if it’s food safe or just for decorative use. Most of the dishes, like Corelle, are perfectly safe. Chances are the dishes you’re eating off of are fine, but check with the manufacturer’s website if you have any concerns.


You should be concerned about anything unnatural given to animals because it does impact your health in one way or another. Plastics and lead are important, as are a myriad of other things, not to mention the microwave itself, but food is no exception and probably the most important since we put food directly into our bodies everyday at least three times a day. You can’t escape being affected by food. Raw, organic milk is best. Organic is not enough b/c it is still pasteurized and sometimes even ultra-pasteurized, which means all the enzymes and all the good bacteria (which preserve the milk and prevent it from contamination) are destroyed along with the pathogens; it is basically a dead food. Good milk from healthy, pastured cows raised on grass and hay (not corn or soy or any other unnatural food for cows) is rarely contaminated with salmonella or e.coli or any such thing b/c the enzymes in the milk fight off such bacteria. Pasteurized milk spoils whereas raw milk won’t spoil for months and months; it just sours. Lactic acid preserves it. If you separate out the whey from the curds and use the whey to preserve foods such as sauerkraut, beets, or use it in cooking you will see that it is a natural preservative and actually improves the quality of certain foods as they age, kind of like wine. Got off on a tangent there only because many people have not ever heard of this and antennas go up as soon as you question pasteurization, so I gotta explain. If you get this quality of milk, you will never have to worry about puberty starting too early, among other things.


Shhh… I’m hiding from my mom. She’s a member here too and I although she’ll probably recognize me if she stumbles across one of my posts, I want there to be reasonable doubt. :wink:

I’ll say hi next Sunday.


OK with the plastics…the mom who sent me the article on precocious puberty sent me a hand written note entitled “Ms. Donna’s modified doable ways to reduce toxins”

About the plastics…she still STORES things in plastic, uses plastic baggies etc…she just doesn’t heat anything in plastic. You can throw a microwavable plate over top of a microwavable bowl and you’re good to go. Also, she mentions that she still used plastic cups and stuff when her girls were little, but she didn’t wash them in the dishwasher…she washed them by hand. I guess that cuts back on toxins…

Also soft plastic baby toys are suspect?? I don’t even KNOW where to begin telling what falls in that category…although theChrismyster, you seem to be up on the plastics so maybe you can enlighten us.

I would say food, and personal products would be our top 2 things to worry about…as Ms. Donna reminds me…our skin is one big absorption organ. :smiley: I think it’s important to realize we can’t do it all…but even doing what foods we can organic/natural and avoiding plastics…at least we are reducing the amount of toxins, and I feel like that’s better than nothing.


The hormone implants and the antibiotics for cattle both simply tell the user not to use them so many days before slaughter. To my knowledge, neither meat nor milk are tested for either, and it’s simply left up to the farmer’s conscience whether he/she discontinues in a timely way. So it is quite likely some milk and meat has both things in it.

But you know, it works the other way too. I recall reading a study done in Germany where they found that kids raised on cattle farms were pretty much immune to the E Coli that so devastates urban populations here and there. They figured the kids on farms are exposed to cattle manure early on, along with the bacteria in it, and develop immunity; very young kids, evidently, being less affected by a mild infection than those who attain some age before exposure. That’s quite interesting. A substantial number of human diseases have cattle vectors or analogues.

Soooooooo, um, Mom, your duty to your kids is clear. Get them down to the farm and let them play in the manure. I’m kidding, but only a little. I made sure my children and grandchildren played in cattle corrals and loafing areas from the time they were tiny. I take them out and expose them to cattle still. None ever seemed to suffer any ill effect, and it is my hope they have acquired some immunity to cattle vector diseases.


Carol Marie’s to-do list:

  1. Buy raw-organic milk.
  2. Throw away all plastic foodware & plastic baby toys.
  3. Stop using hair products, make up & creams that contain parebens.
  4. Contact plate manufacturer to make sure lead base paint wasn’t used.
  5. Find cattle farm for kids to play at.


Perhaps questions such as this should be posted on a scientific Web site, if you really want a reliable answer. It doesn’t seem like a Catholic forum could provide many scientific truths regarding bovine growth hormones.


don’t be silly… the posters here at CA know all there is to know about everything!!! :wink:

(Welcome to the forums by the way! :wave: )

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