Tuesday, January 4, 2011

No Added Hormones in Beef at Coles Supermarkets (Australia)

As I discussed yesterday, supermarket chains can have a positive impact on our health (even though a lot of what they sell is crap).

The latest example comes from Australia. As of January 1, Coles, the country’s largest supermarket chain, only sells beef grown without the use of artificial hormones. (The news is top billing on the Coles website.)

In addition, the company has said it will absorb the costs of implementing the changes, sparing consumers higher prices.

Will this move by Coles force other Australian supermarkets to follow suit? If that happens, the Australian beef industry would probably have to forsake the hormones it has been using for decades to help its cattle get twice as big in half the time.

One of the reasons Coles made the move was customer preference, based on a survey of 1,000 people. It’s amazing to think that only several hundred people may help foster such immense change in Australia’s food system.

The moral of the story? We must voice our opinions at food shops and restaurants; management will never know our concerns and desires if we are mute.


Anonymous said...

Why doesnt Coles advertise it has zero hormones added does this mean like the juice we drink labels there is a difference between the "no added sugar" and no sugar added" .....where there is still added but within food industrial stds. Does this apply to the hormones in the beef sold in Coles.

Chef Rob said...

From my understanding, there are no hormones ADDED to the beef. Realize that beef has natural hormones that are inherent to the product, but not added to it.


No hormones said...

Coles' position - even if it can be viewed as a transparent marketing platform - has broken open the issue of Hormonal Growth Promotants (HGP) in the Australian beef industry. Most Australians had no idea of the extent to which hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and progesterone are added to beef cattle - I certainly did not! There's a range of issues this throws up, but most significant in my mind is the potential link between HGP and the every-decreasing age of puberty onset, particularly in girls, and the rate of breast development. While the level of these "added extra" hormones probably has limited impact on adults, for pre-pubescent kids it may change their whole hormonal system - the long term impacts are not being studied (seems the beef industry is not keen to fund that) and are not really understood. Europe and Tasmania aren't prepared to take the risk - both ban HPG use. Meanwhile, Australians have been eating beef with no capacity to identify if HPG implants have been applied or not. So, well done Coles - whistleblower!


Chef Rob said...

No hormones - Thanks for your comment. Are there any articles from the Australian press detailing the eye-opening that has taken place in the public sphere after Coles changed its meat supply?