rBGH gets a spanking

rBGH suffers another setback in the US

I mentioned last year that Monsanto was giving up on its genetically-modified recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) business after a number of setbacks in the US, its primary market, and had sold out to Eli Lilly. rBGH is a hormone injected to cows to make them produce more milk, but also makes them prone to mastitis, treated with antibiotics, which end up in our bodies, affecting our immune and digestive systems. Cows given rBGH also produce milk with a higher level of IGF-1, associated with various cancers. Eli Lilly has even more incentive to make rBGH more widespread in their quest to help us ‘live longer, healthier and more active lives’. rBGH is also associated with diabetes, and Eli Lilly is a pharmaceutical company offering highly profitable diabetes drugs.

Yoplait, the 19th largest dairy in the US, has announced it will no longer buy milk from dairies using rBGH, bowing to consumer pressure that has led to companies such as Wal-Mart, Starbucks and Subway going rBGH-free.

rBGH is banned in most of the world due to health reasons, but widely used in South Africa. If you buy dairy products from a store, do you know if it is from an rBGH-administering dairy?

Other articles about rBGH:

Refined sugar

Of course, much more closely associated with diabetes, and a host of other ailments, is refined sugar, which shouldn’t play a part in anyone’s diet. Healthier alternatives include honey, dates, stevia, xylitol and jaggery. Unfortunately we’re suffering from widespread stock shortages at the moment, and are offering few of those as alternatives. We do however have honey from Bloublommetjies biodynamic farm, as well as a fynbos and an orange blossom honey from Cedarfruits, and jaggery from Earth Products.

CSA Boxes

Apologies to all CSA customers last week who may have received confusing emails. Our standing orders feature, used to book your CSA box in advance each week, has just launched, and suffered a few glitches!

In spite of the confusing emails, we’re glad to hear that most of you have been very happy with the bags, and the value they represent. This week’s bag will most likely contain the same as last week – butternut, green beans, cucumbers, baby onions, mixed fancy lettuces, zucchini and gem squash. Feel free to add to your order from our website – we promise it’s less confusing than the emails! Remember you can make a change to your order anytime up until just before Monday 2pm.

Thanks to everyone’s upfront support, Eric has managed to procure six oxen, and is no longer affected by the price of fuel. His soil is also grateful, free of excess compacting from heavy mechanical machines.

Valentine’s Day

It seems that every month of the year has a “consumer day”, with us being exhorted to spend on chocolate eggs, presents for everyone, for our mothers, our fathers, and February is no exception, with Valentine’s Day.

Older customers may remember reading about the legend of Valentine, the Roman soldier put to death by Emperor Claudius II ignoring the law against soldiers marrying.

Another ritual, unlikely to make a a comeback, is related to the Roman festival on February 14 to honour Juno – the queen of Roman gods and goddesses, and the goddess of women and marriage. The following day, a priest would sacrifice a goat and a dog, and boys would slice the hide into strips, dipping them in sacrificial blood. They’d then roam the streets gently slapping women with the animal hides. Being slapped was a great honour, and believed to confer fertility. Later, all the young maidens in the city would place their name in a big urn. Bachelors in the city would each then take a name out of the urn, and became paired with the girl for the rest of the year.

While I won’t wish you a spanking with an animal hide, I do wish you a day filled with love for all you encounter.

To order, head on over to www.ethical.org.za

Have a great week,
the Co-op team

Comments ( 5 )

  1. Bianca

    Hi all I found an interesting website - was referred there by the guy that wrote "the truth about 6-pack abs", Mike Geary's newsletter. http://healthygrassfed.2ya.com/ As far as I know we don't have something like this in South Africa - how about starting up?

  2. Duncan Drennan

    How widely spread is rBHG in South Africa? My understanding is that rBHG is the same as rBST, and all dairy products that I see in stores are marked rBST-free.

  3. Ian Gilfillan

    It's a little unclear. See http://aspirantlocavore.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/how-free-range-is-fair-cape/ for an interesting discussion on the topic. There's some concern that rBST-free is just a guideline used for farmers, and that no-one is actually checking up, but no-one seems to have a definitive answer.

  4. Ethical Co-op » Blog Archive » Organic food is not better for you!

    [...] Lilly, the company that bought Monsanto’s recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) business, is back in the news. Eli Lilly, along with other drug makers, is facing pressure and increased [...]

  5. Gil

    I am curious? Many bodybuilders drink Casein protein. Since it is already processed will this still effect people do to the IGF-1 conversion? I have read that people who have cancer should not drink casein, would the IGF-1 be why?