Friday, May 7, 2010


I end up talking about Agriculture in some of the most interesting places. I was at meetings in Phoenix once. After the meetings, some colleagues and I stopped at a watering hole. We were enjoying ourselves and socializing when one of the locals stopped at our table. He asked where we were from, what we were doing in town, and then asked about all these hormones in beef! Ummm... We could have blown him off but you get a bunch of scientists together and they love to talk about their work.

So, this is about how the "lecture" went. Do you know what hormone is implanted into beef? Nope Do you know the difference between Testosterone and Progesterone? I can see the difference, I just don't know the difference This was followed by a drawing of the chemical structures of cholesterol, testosterone, and progesterone on a bar napkin. Do you know how much of the hormone is in a half a pound of beef that you eat in a hamburger? Nope ~2 ng. Did you know a salad contains about 1200 ng of hormones? Nope Do you know how much is in a soybean... And it goes on from there.

By the end of the "lecture" the gentleman's thoughts were totally changed. His ending comments were "I get it! I get it! Eat beef not salad!" Not exactly the point but he finally understood that hormones are in a lot of different foodstuffs. Come to find out this man was a trader for the stock exchange. When we saw him the next day he told us he took his napkins and told 6 other people at lunch about the benefits of beef and that hormones weren't bad.

Don't let little opportunities pass you by to spread the message.


  1. Go you! Education is always valuable, even if it's only to learn something you thought you knew!

  2. Ditto Holly. Thanks Missy for seizing that teachable moment. You exercised wisdom in your presentation and look at the good results! Thanks for your post.

  3. It is so important to have these conversations! I am glad that you were about to help set them straight. Great jon.

  4. I love this story! Lead by example! Love it!

  5. Much as I admire the cattle producer that wants to create a niche market for his beef the one that bugs me most is the "hormone free" beef. It's false advertising at best as every living thing has hormones. Implant free might say something but even then the difference is so slight it doesn't count from the tests I've seen.