Last week, while I was attending the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s 2012 Antibiotic Symposium in Columbus, Ohio, I joined some of the other attendees for a lovely dinner at a high-end steakhouse.
She was doing great until the end when she declared: “All of our beef is hormone-free.” We all gave sort of a collective sigh with some head-shaking – here we go again. Do we pick this battle and try to educate this server? I’m sure you can imagine that a group of seven who represented the beef industry in various forms was not going to let this one pass. And we didn’t.
We informed the server that all beef contains hormones, naturally-occurring or otherwise. To which she said, “Well these cows are fed hormones early on but by the time they are done they are all gone.” Obviously, she had hormones confused with antibiotic residues.
We tried to explain that wasn’t right, at which point she just gave up and said, “I don’t know. That’s what they told us to say.” We let her off the hook as it was apparent she was only spouting the information that someone else who probably didn’t know what they were talking about told her (and the other servers) to say.
It’s just too bad that when you are paying a lot for a really nice steak that the owners/managers/chefs either don’t take the time to have adequate knowledge about it, or if they do, they neglect to pass on the correct information to the people who are actually interfacing with customers.