Ever wonder what’s really in a glass of milk? The answer might have you reaching for a cup of an alternative. Believe it or not, puss has been found in cow’s milk.

If that’s not bad enough, it’s also loaded with female hormones since cows are kept almost constantly pregnant on today’s dairy factory farms. Commercial dairies use recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which is a synthetic hormone marketed to dairy farmers in order to increase milk production in cows. This natural hormone, rBGH is found in the pituitary glands of all cows. Researchers who have studied rBGH in cows found that more milk is produced when there are elevated levels of hormones.

Most of the farmers using this hormone recognize the profit of it but not the health factors within the cows and for the consumers. The hormone is not permitted in the European Union and Canada, although it has been used in the United States since 1993 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it, according to cancer.org. The Environmental Protection Agency in the United States has also determined it to be safe to consume.

The approval of rBGH has been a controversial conversation between consumers, scientists and farmers in the United States for years now. Through scientific studies, milk from cows injected with rBGH has been recognized to have health hazards. This milk has higher levels of IGF-1, which is a hormone considered to be a leading risk factor to breast, prostate, colon, lung and other cancers, according to responsibletechnology.org.

For that reason, U.S. dairies have been battling for their right to label their milk as rBGH-free if they do not inject their herds with these hormones.

The main issue is the lack of awareness about the hormone by American citizens. It is then up to the consumer in deciding whether or not to consume such products.

Luckily, for consumers who want to continue drinking milk but without the hormones, there are places that sell rBGH-free milk, otherwise known as organic. One nearby example is Manning Hill Farm in Winchester, New Hampshire.

According to their online page, their milk is produced from their cows only. There are no artificial growth hormones in the milk, nor are the cows fed antibiotics, grass fed only. Hannah Grimes Market Place and the Monadnock Food Co-op both in Keene sell many different options of natural milk.


Jordan Crowley can be contacted at jcrowley@keene-equinox.com

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