No added hormones.

One element of my role description is writing competition terms and conditions. It’s my job to make sure “the company i work for” abides by the latest ACCC requirements and never (even accidentally) misleads a customer.

When i see an ad the first thing i read is the terms and conditions – the tiny fineprint at the bottom of your TV screen. I’ll often laugh out loud at an ad and say “OMG, did you see that!?! You’ll be signed up for a minimum of 24 months and you’ll receive 100 SMS per month at a cost of $5 each – and there’s no way to opt out! Hahahahahahaha, can you believe it?”… but no one else seems to find it as funny as i do.

So when i see disclaimers like “No added hormones” i must say that it doesn’t quite have the comforting effect on me (as a potential customer) that the advertiser may be expecting.

In fact i find the idea of eating meat more scary than ever before.

I’m not saying that any of my assumptions are true but i do have a knack for /R/E/A/D/I/N/G/ terms and conditions. E.g. this cynic *loves* reading between the lines.

So here’s the scary stuff i may assume after reading a claim like “no added hormones”:

– The meat hasn’t had any hormones added to it since the animal died… but the living animals probably ingested hormones and antibiotics every day of their lives.
– Maybe the retailer hasn’t added any hormones… but the wholesalers could have added a heap of drugs to it before the retailer got their hands on the meat.
– One supermarket sells fresh beef with no added hormones… but does that cover anything that has been on the shelf since yesterday & is no longer technically “fresh”? Does mince count as fresh, or is only steak fresh?
– If it doesn’t actually have a label that specifies “no added hormones”… then does it have added hormones?
– What if the retailer didn’t add hormones… but they added a shit load of carbon monoxide, nitrites, steroids, sulphur, sodium ascorbat, preservatives & red food dye?
– Now that we know it is perfectly safe to eat beef that is labelled “no added hormones”… does that mean CHICKEN should be eaten at our own peril?

When i visited a website belonging to one supermarket that advertises “no added hormones” it didn’t make me feel better. Because i found even more disclaimers that an argumentative skeptic may accidentally misconstrue:

– “This year is a great year for Australian families” – because in all of the other years we’ve been unwittingly ingesting hormones?
– “… is proud to announce a supermarket first for all Australians” – because all of the other supermarkets are still dodgy and want our menfolk to grow bosoms?
– “all the fresh beef you find in our meat departments…” – but not in any of the other departments. For example, did you know that chocolate teddies contain beef products?
– “All that great Aussie beef you love to feed your family will now be even more tender than ever.” – is this an admission that adding hormones has made our meat taste like boot leather for decades?
– “And whilst this announcement has been years in the planning and cost… tens of millions of dollars, we’ve saved the best for last. No added hormones. And no added cost to you.”

I can’t even be sarcastic about the last line, because it is too depressing. It took years of planning and tens of millions of dollars for Australian supermarkets to find ways to feed us fresh beef without charging us exorbitantly? What kind of world do we live in?

Anyway, if you’re as interested in fine print as i am, you’re probably fascinated to learn that “Calf fries” and “Prairie oysters” are bull testicles. Other items that fall under the “beef” genre (in your sausages and mince) include the tongue, liver, pancreas, intestine, heart, brain, stomach lining. The only thing considered unfit for your consumption is a cows lungs. ‘Cos they smoke so much dope.

Bon appétit.


9 thoughts on “No added hormones.

    1. Funnily enough, i’m a vegetarian just because i don’t like the smell or texture of meat… but when i get on my high horse i’m glad i don’t have to “give it up” for moral reasons 😉

  1. I’m hoping in the future there’ll be even better labels than ‘No Hormones Added’ which say ‘100% Organic beef delivered from Farm to Table with 100% sustainable energy’. i guess there are times where you can’t read too much into things or then it’ll make you can a little crazy 🙂 as they say ignorance is bliss.

    1. “100% Organic beef delivered from Farm to Table with 100% sustainable energy” Best. Food label. Ever.
      And you’re right, ignorance can be bliss… sometimes i wish i wasn’t so inquisitive.

  2. As one who just buys the meat, cooks and eats it; this has been an interesting read. I really loved the ‘man bosoms’ reference lol!
    I too like to look at the whole picture when reading terms and contracts especially on mobile phone deals and wonder ‘WHY?” dont people see these catches in contracts before they go on to A Current Affair to complain about it all?

    1. Somehow i’ve used the word bosom in two consecutive posts… hehe
      I know someone who locked themselves into a 3 year $20,000 glamour photography contract & couldn’t get out of it – because it was clearly spelled out in the fine print & they had signed it. Crazy.

  3. Why don’t people see the fine print that taketh away? Because, as Lord Justice Denning said in his judgment in Thornton v Shoelane Parking Ltd ([1971] 2 QB 163) “No person in a thousand ever read the terms and conditions”. People just don’t read ’em… and if they do, the salesdroid gives them grief “oh, it’s just standard stuff”… “nobody else ever reads it, they just sign. Me: “well, they’re a bit silly, aren’t they”.

    Kristen, just yesterday I was reading the ‘terms and conditions’ on the side of a box of Kentucky Fried Chicken. You’ll never guess the phrase they’re using… oh, look, you’ve guessed… “no added hormones”!

    1. Yeah, i’m one of those annoying people who refuses to sign something (or let anyone else sign) until i’ve read the document… sometimes i read it forwards then backwards to make sure i didn’t miss anything. That way, if i make a mistake it’s my own stupid fault 😉
      Haha… KFC too? I haven’t eaten KFC since i left home in 1999.

  4. I was a vegan for over 10 years and know exactly what you mean. I don’t think I knew what I was getting into when I first signed up for that gig 😉

    These days I mostly eat organic or biodynamic where possible.

    But for peeps who like to eat meat, you can do far worse than the good folks at

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