Chris, I’ve been shying away from the parabens lately (using mineral makeup and shampoo bars and such) but I didn’t really know why, except a vague sense of “badness”. That’s scary stuff.
Lynn, I believe we are in the same parish. I recognize your blog address. I avoid the hormone laden milk. I don’t know for sure that the milk is to blame for the earlier onset of puberty. I used to think that was just the result of “good” nutrition. When calories are abundant, the females go into baby-making mode earlier. But I no longer think that is the case. I don’t belief that in other cultures, even those with abundant food, puberty comes so quickly, and puberty comes just as quickly to Americans with terrible diets as it does for those with moderate diets. Puberty may start later when malnutrition is a problem, but barring those extremes, I think early teen years are the human norm through history. Now we get our first periods at 10 and 11. Exposure to synthetic hormones comes from not only the dairy products, but the meat itself. Sure, the greatest quantity of hormones goes to diary cattle, as opposed to those raised for beef, but what’s surprising is that we eat a lot of old dairy cow around here. My mother attends a nutrition class run by a dietition (part of her diabetes treatment), and recently reported back to me that the national percentage of beef that comes from dairy cows is something like 30% (memory failing me on that one) but that in NYS (and even if you aren’t the Lynn I know, I see from your profile that you are in NY) it’s 60%. So all those hormones end up getting two chances to get into your system–when you drink the milk or eat cheese, and when you eat beef.
If you are in the area I think you are, you know all about “food you feel good about”, which is what my family tries to stick to, especially with regard to beef and chicken. We buy the hormone free milk and spring for organic whenever we can.
Really, all these potential dangers (including the dangers to chastity when you pump your body full of hormones that trigger sexual maturity at age 10 and then set up an educational system that prolongs adolence into the 20s) just highlight for me the necessity of responsible stewardship of the earth and its animals. Even though I feel “safe enough” with the hormone free milk, I still aim for organic because even cows that aren’t getting shots to increase lactation are still separated from their newborn calves (who are then put on formula, which just boggles my mind) and that just breaks my heart. If the quality of life of our animals–even those that are born to be eaten–matters to us, I think we will benefit at least as much as they do from it.