Today, I was captivated by this Huffington Post article by John Robbins regarding Chinese babies growing breasts due to mistakenly high levels of estrogen in formula.
And don't point fingers at the formula-producers just yet. Supposedly, the most likely point for the hormones to have entered the picture was with the cows... as in excess estrogen via the bovine growth hormone.
I encourage you to read the article and read about other occurrences of hormones in milk and the issues involved. It left me unsettled.
But let's be proactive. Here's a relevant excerpt from the H.P. article regarding what to do about all of this:
What's a consumer to do?
If at all possible, breast-feed your babies, and support breast-feeding friendly workplaces and other environments. It's hard to overstate the health advantages of breast-feeding for both mother and baby. They are enormous, and particularly so today, when the possibility exists that commercially available infant formula could be contaminated with excess hormones.
If you are going to buy dairy products, try to get them from organic sources. Organic milk products by law can't be produced with bovine growth hormone (BGH). Or look for dairy products that specifically say they are produced without BGH (also called recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST). Starbucks only uses dairy products that have not been produced with the hormone. Ben & Jerry's ice cream likewise uses only milk and cream from dairy farms that have pledged not to use BGH.
If you're going to eat cheese, remember that American-made cheeses are likely to be contaminated with BGH and excess levels of IGF-1 unless they're organic or labeled BGH-free. Most cheeses that are imported from Europe are safe, though, since much of Europe has banned the hormone. (John Robbins, 2010)
Hmm... after my cheese-loving post yesterday, I'm left wondering if our VT cheese is organic and bgh-free. Time for more research!