Deciphering Food Labels - Step 2. Avoid rBST Growth Hormones

Ideally grow some fresh produce on your own. Reminder: Everyone must consider the benefit, or disadvantage, of eating from each of the food groups for themselves.  Read Step 1 and Step 3 here.

Step 2. Avoid rBST Growth Hormones

rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) also known as rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) is administered to dairy cattle to increase the production of milk. There are many different arguments for why this is and why this is not an ideal practice.  I want to touch on a couple those points and give a bit of input from my own point of view.


Point 1. After a brief internet search I found one argument which supports the safety of the hormone use. The article stated that since we don't have the same receptors as the cattle, ingesting this hormone would not affect us. I presume they are saying that this won't affect our hormones that produce lactation. OK, so perhaps it's true, but it doesn't change the fact that we would, in fact, be ingesting a substance that is foreign to our bodies. Exactly as they stated, the piece doesn't fit into the puzzle. More specifically, this means that our bodies would not have any idea of what to do with the hormone...or flat out cannot do anything with - therefore the hormone is seen as a toxin that our bodies try to get rid of. Then the next question is, "So how well is your body handling detox?" (That is actually a discussion for another article post.) Well, you can lessen the stress that detoxing takes on your body, by not consuming anything that you know to be toxic in the first place.


Point 2. These growth hormones cause increased milk production so this goes against the cows' natural tendencies. These hormones put more demands on their bodies, thus more stress and likewise this process results in animals that aren't as healthy as they could be. Who would knowingly choose milk from an unhealthy cow? The goal for sourcing real food is to stay inline with real, natural processes and to not go against nature as God created it to be. 


A list of products that usually contain milk:
  • Butter/Ghee
  • Milk/Cream
  • Ice cream
  • Cheese
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt/Whey
  • Any product with milk/cheese/cream as an ingredient

So how can you avoid rBSTs?  Buy products from company's that state they are rBST and hormone free. Choosing organic milk and organic meat products can help you avoid most rBST foods. As an alternative, choosing dairy alternatives such as nut milks and coconut milks (ideally made at home by you to avoid other additives and in order to make the better choices) can also help you to avoid hormones.

Some specialty food stores might manufacture their own line of these dairy products in order to provide dairy options that avoid rBST Growth Hormones. Specifically, Whole Foods Market sells dairy products with no rBSTs under their 365 Brand name.  I have also found the Sprouts has a brand that avoids rBSTs also. 


Let's make a statement with the our food choices by purchasing those that meet our real food goals. It appears that as we become more aware and our demand for better food choices increases the food industry has made shifts to accommodate our needs. So the more you purchase non-rBST foods the more the food industry will listen and respond. Let's make sure that we fight against hormones in our food supply.

Organic Milk Companies: Organic Valley, Stonyfield Organic, Horizon Organic


Key search terms to learn more: rBST, rBGH, Hormone-Free Milk, Monsanto, organic milk, hormones in our food supply

Links to other sources: RealMilk.com