During a recent OB/GYN visit, I asked my doctor about birth control options – while I am considering a third child, I haven’t fully committed to the idea. He gladly explained the different alternatives for birth control (IUDs, pills, etc) and their respective pros and cons. He also gave me a history lesson on the evolution of the birth control and its revolutionary impact on women, society, economy and culture.
My doctor is that thorough.
Upon leaving my doctor’s office, I felt empowered and informed. Motivated and compelled, I decided that I would most certainly commit to some form of contraception. The only unknown was which method to use. To help me make this decision, I enlisted the help of a friend – a kind, objective, rational and non-judgmental human being to help me sort through the facts and figures.
“You’re a bit of a hypocrite, aren’t you?” said my ‘friend’ as we contemplated acorn squash in the vegetable aisle. “If you won’t eat a chicken jacked up on hormones, why would you pump yourself up with hormones? Use the old stand-by, you know? The condom? They’re hormone-free.”
Who me? A hypocrite?
Yes, I know a thing (or two) about the condom; however, I was hoping for something a little more….hassle-free…maybe? While I tried to pretend I was hard of hearing, her unintended, yet opinionated rhetoric managed to strike a nerve. In essence, if I strive to avoid eating foods infused with hormones, why would I voluntarily ‘ingest’ hormones?
This question is less of a commentary on the hormone-based birth control and more about the extent to which I choose to live a more natural and organic lifestyle. First came the transition towards more whole, organic foods. Then came the switch to organic shampoos, natural face creams , body lotions, etc. Where do I draw the line? Barring the need for the occasional OTC/prescription drug, vaccine or a once-in-a-lifetime medical intervention, can I still live ‘organically’ while occasionally partaking in a chemical here or a hormone there? Can I engage for the purposes of convenience, or should I save my ‘chemical ingestion quota’ for a life-or-death situation?
Another thought: can you equate the hormones used in livestock to the hormones used in humans? Obviously, the hormones are varied and serve different purposes (one is used to rapidly increase growth while the other is used to prevent pregnancy), but…is the idea of using hormones to alter physiology/chemical state the same in these instances? Are they comparable in concept? And more to the point, are they comparable in principle?
I haven’t a clue how to answer any of these questions, much less the one about contraceptives. But maybe that is ok. All of my life altering decisions were made with significant thought, research and genuine concern. I suppose it comes as no surprise that I’d engage in a metaphysical debate about which birth control method I should use.
In the meantime, I’ll stick with the ‘old stand-by’ and indulge in this creamy, savory Acorn Squash soup. While my friend was useless in sorting out my birth control issues, she did help me pick out a very lovely acorn squash. I added a tiny bit of garam masala and a splash of heavy cream to make this a luxurious, yet healthy meal.
Curried Acorn Squash Soup
Serves 4 (entrée size)
1 acorn squash
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Couple tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 medium onion, diced
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
1-teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon cumin
4 cups of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of heavy cream (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Sprinkle the cut sides with some salt, pepper, olive oil and thyme. Add 1 peeled and smashed garlic clove in each half. Place on a baking sheet with cut sides facing up. Cook for 1 hour. Can do ahead.
Over medium heat, place a large soup pot or dutch oven. Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Add the diced onions and the remaining 2 garlic cloves. After 5 minutes, or after the onions are translucent, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Immediately following the salt/pepper addition, add the ginger, garam masala and cumin. Cook for 1-2 minutes on medium heat.
Scoop out the cooked acorn squash and add to the soup pot. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Turn off heat. Add more salt/pepper to taste and the heavy cream (if using).
Enjoy as is or with some croutons!