May 17, 2009

When I was 15 I figured out the whole hydrogenated oil shaboodle. Ya know? I'm sorry, but my life was fairly empty and, if I wasn't going to pay attention to my emotional turmoil - and FOR SURE - I had no plans to do that, what was left? Food. I payed attention to my food. If you are paying attention to your food, you can not fail to notice that hydrogenated oil is wrong. It smells bad. It feels disgusting stuck to the roof of your mouth. It tastes terrible. If you are paying attention, you can not fail to notice this. I mean, if you can't tell the difference, I'm sorry and I don't mean to sound like a snotty know-it-all, even if I do, but if you can't tell the difference...well, you must not be paying attention. Or, you are neurologically impaired. Or you think you are alive but you live in a sad form of partial death. Because the difference is obvious when you start paying attention.

So, back in the early 80s, way before anyone was talking about this, I figured out that hydrogenated oil is not food. After I got clear about it not being food, the leap over to it probably being bad for human biology was not hard to make. 15 years later, science caught up. But I have not eaten hydrogenated oil, other than a road trip exception clause I wrote for Doritos and beach trips, in my adult life. "Bully for me," I know. But think of the babies who were raised on it. Do you know, they used to put that stuff in infant formula? I wouldn't even feed it to my dog and there are people who, to this day, toss it to their kids without a thought. Even though one stupid and troubled 15 year old punk kid with all kinds of learning disabilities and emotional problems could see it clearly, years before any one was calling attention to it. Its not hard to see, yet most adults missed it for a whole generation.

Do you know, if you hit the trunk of a mature fruit tree with a baseball bat, you will increase its fertility? You can't brutalize it. Its not about beating it to a pap. You don't want to mark the tree. Its about stress. Fruit trees respond to stress with increased fertility. Why? Because if the tree is in danger, it had better make hay while the sun still shines. I mean to say, not too many apples can fall from a dead tree. Trees know this. Nature knows this.

If our reason for living is to procreate, if our tiny eggs are enshrined in our golden ovaries first, before our brains are fully cooked, how do you think the biological human machine might respond to stress? This is one whoppingly, hugely, important question.

How many kids do you know who are starting puberty at 8 or 9? At 6, even. I know a little girl who got her first pubic hair at 6. It makes you feel like sitting down and crying, doesn't it? Puberty onset has always been variable, yes. But science is scrambling hard, right now, to figure out why so many of our children are going into early puberty. It feels like a troublesome bell tolling in the far distance, one that's easy to ignore, if your own kids are not hitting puberty early. And mine are not, so far. But I know at least four kids personally who are developing before their time. That's a lot, statistically speaking.

Maria Hermon-Giddens at UNC Chapel Hill has been studying this phenomenon for years. She was early onto the field of research in this area. And I am not up on the current research, myself. But I have been aware of and curious about the problem since before I had kids. Now, that my friends and their children are dealing with this, I am watching it closely. Still, I have no qualification for my opinions. Except that I am paying careful attention, and have been for a while.

Plastics are a problem. rBGH is a problem. Perhaps meat is a problem. Some think soy is a problem. Plain old fat has been implicated. I see problems with all of these things. But I do not think these things are The Problem.

The Problem with early onset puberty is stress. I won't even lay this on the doorstep of institutional school. I won't even discuss this in relation to homeschool, though, our educational choices are interwoven into the issue. This one is much bigger. This is more endemic. Our culture, and increasingly, human culture is too stressed out. This is The Problem.

Also, for the first time in history we are delaying childbirth, in some cases, an entire generation later than nature designed. Now our daughters are trying to fruit early. Biologically speaking, they are bolting or rushing to seed.

I don't even mean to imply that the children are, symbolically, suffering the bat. Though, emotionally, this is rampant and true enough. I'm not even going to get started about the rhythm of the day of your average baby now, compared with 100 years ago. Though, that is worth looking at. I think we should start with the stress of the parents. Mark me here and meet me for donuts in twenty years. Science will prove this one day. Parental stress levels are causing early onset puberty in their children.


rae said...

Gobsmacking truth, I think. I marvel at your insight at times. No that's wrong. I marvel at your insight All The Time.

This concept scares the peewadlin out of me, but I really think you could be onto something here.

MOM #1 said...

I totally agree - with ALL of it!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. Can you just write my blog? Thanks.
I so agree~hydrogenated oil, fats, meats, milk...the whole nine yards. I don't always walk the walk. I have a few clauses of my own. But think of the avg. child on an avg day. And don't even get. me. started. on school lunches.


Cecelia (CC) said...

What's fun is when you get to tap into the Universe and just download Truth.

Thanks for being such a fine conduit.

You don't have to be right - indeed, what a bore and chore - you can just know that you have a clear channel, and we who have tuned in, are listening!

Cecelia (CC) said...

Survive and thrive.

Abused as a child, he is more alert and responsive than most. Abused as a child, she walks with heightened sensibility. That stress gave them tools they use every day. They can outmaneuver the ones who never learned to pay attention, the 'spoiled' ones.

Stress can be useful, when applied directly to the source, like at the trunk. Stress coming from the support system (like food or parents) can poison and retard growth. Weak soil, lack of rain, steep slopes and screaming: healthy growth is inhibited. But, when the being survives despite these odds, they are mighty survivors who can be a powerful source of strength in their habitat, holding tight when others topple, living through drought and poison. Reproducing, adapting, resurrecting.

This is delicious food for thought.

Katherine said...

Oh dear. You know what? I don't have access to Truth. I just do my best to pay attention. And, it must be said, I have No Clue what, if anything, is going on. Who knows?

Cecelia (CC) said...

No, you don't have access, that's too much for one person. You just speak what comes and we get to listen and hear. And it may be Truth, or truth. I don't mean to boggle the blog with babble. It is fun to bandy about ideas. I do like to be heard - sometimes too much - but more than this, I like to play with others' as we learn together. Forgive me any indiscretion, please.