Saturday, March 29, 2008
Honest. All I did was search "amaranth" in Google. I came away from this thinking I should make amaranth noodles from scratch. Well, I kinda would have to, wouldn't I? It's not like I can run to the store and buy them. So I started this morning by grinding up some amaranth into flour (*tangent below if you're interested*) and we went to Whole Foods. Came home, fed baby, and started noodles. I made them just like semolina pasta--water and flour. I rolled the dough out and cut it into noodles. Then into lots of briskly boiling water it went. Not sure if I overcooked or what, but they are very gummy. M is impressed however. Then I realized--it's his first ever homemade noodles! They really don't taste too bad.
But, what am I thinking? Am I crazy? Do I really need a way to spend MORE time in the kitchen? Besides, tomorrow is rice day and he can have Tinkyada noodles breakfast, lunch and dinner if he wants. And they taste good! Oh well, I guess all this experimentation is how I stumble on the winners.
Anyway, here they are
Whole foods sells amaranth flour for just over $7.40/#. My Azure order came in yesterday with my 25# of amaranth flour at just over $36. I just saved myself roughly $150!!! Yeah, I can keep right on grinding! And it tastes better to boot.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Being forced to use one grain at a time breeds lots of knowledge about those grains! What a shock eh? Anyway, I have learned a few things about the properties of these grains and I'm sure I have a lot more to learn. So far I know that amaranth makes an absolutely scrumptious gravy! Like, dreamily good! I make a roux with the flour and fat from pan drippings. Then stir in the broth or use whatever liquid you want for your gravy. Cook until thick. Just a little salt makes a piece of heaven.
Millet makes the best pancakes. It is so light and fluffy. The biscuits are fairly good, but almost a little too soft.
Teff makes great muffins and cookies. I also really like the injera. M doesn't. Too bad for him.
Quinoa makes an excellent, rich pilaf. Toast the dry grain until the smell of the grain is released. Add in veggies and mushrooms-gotta have mushrooms!--and cook like rice pilaf. Only it cooks faster. 15 minutes is good. MMMMM. Makes good chili too.
Oh, and amaranth tortillas? Delish!
I have always known that fresh ground flour is better--and better for you. I just haven't wanted to put forth the effort with my hand crank mill. Plus it is designed for big ol what grains. For Christmas, I got the Kitchen-Aid grain mill. I have tried all the grains we use in it and am very, very satisfied. It works great and they really do taste that much better.
I went ahead and ordered the 25# bags of the grains so I could grind them. It will be significantly cheaper and I don't have to deal with x-contamination. Which I currently do.
It will be good for us too, because these grains are ancient. Wheat has been bred for shelf life. Teff, amaranth, millet and quinoa have not. They go ranid pretty fast. I hope that I can build up more of a food storage this way. Especially since if we can't get food right away in a disaster or fuel shortage, we are in serious trouble!
Here are a couple of recipes if you are curious to try our food.
Millet banana pancakes
2 med mashed bananas
1/4 melted coconut oil
1 C water
2/3 C tapioca starch (or other starch if tapioca is not okay)
2 C millet flour
1/3 C coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar or use 2 tsp vinegar in the liquids if c of t is out
1/4 tsp stevia powder
1 tsp quar gum
Mix all together with additional water to make a thick, pourable batter. You can use fruit juice or add honey if you don't want to use stevia.
Pour onto hot griddle and cook like regular pancakes.
2 C teff flour
3/4 C flax meal
3/4 Coconut meal (I make this by grinding coconut in a coffee grinder--same as I use for making flax meal)
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp quar gum
1/4 tsp salt
Mix well and add:
1/2 C honey
1/2 C melted coconut oil
1 C water
Mix until combined and spoon into muffin tins. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 20 minutes.
These recipes are my own creation. If you share them, please give me credit! Thanks
Thursday, March 27, 2008
because only in Spring would you wake up to snow in the totally mild Pacific Northwest, right? I thought I must have heard C wrong when he called the boys to come see the snow. He was right. Go figure. I called my mom in S Idaho. No snow there.
True Confessions time. I have posted pictures of my nice clean house and organized spaces many times before. I look at pictures other people have posted of their nice clean houses and newly organized spaces too. Lovely. Really. This is the truth:
This was taken sometime around 11am.
pajamas (dirty) still on: check
all the blankets and pillows on the floor: check
stuff under the couch that we'll forget about: check
small chocking hazards all over the floor: check
unfolded diapers and dirty clothes in the corner: check
Still the same today: CHECK!
But I do want you to notice the couch with room to sit. That is impressive is it not?
Sunday, March 23, 2008
So, after coming home and reading this post, dh felt that I was not very clear about the fact that I was just joking.
So, here's my retraction:
C does not think this about me. He freely offers me chocolate in the evenings and frequently buys me bars of the finest chocolates around. He also thinks I am a beautiful woman. He likes to gaze upon my beauty. I'm a lucky girl.
I stand by the fact that he prefers it when I don something other than flannel pants, though. And really, who can argue.
If I tell myself that the chocolate may not be good for my hips once in awhile, it may do me good. Antioxidants aside.
Posted by RasJane at 8:28 PM
Friday, March 21, 2008
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
No, but I think my Grandpa had some input on the spelling. So I hear.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
honey roasted turkey
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I'd probably drive me crazy and give up being friends. She's such a flake--don't tell her
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM?
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
homemade granola-no nuts
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
If I wear shoes that tie-which is rare
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
somewhat--I guess if I can carry G and E at the same time I must be
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Julie's organic-especially the ice cream sandwiches. Otherwise homemade
14.WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
15. What is your favorite color?
blue and green
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
I'm judgemental, sarcastic, and flaky
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My Grandma Hattie and my BIL Ray
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
I'm not dressed yet, so blue polar fleece pants and my fuzzy yellow socks
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
21. WHAT ARE YOU listening to RIGHT NOW?
M complaining about having to unload the dw. Apparently it is another of the worst chores in the whole house
22. If you were a crayon what color would you be?
One of those crayons you make by melting all the ends together in a muffin tin I think
23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Bakeries, my garden when it is in full swing, the ocean, the forest
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My sweet husband
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
I sure do like both of them!
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH
baseball, hockey and rugby
27. HAIR COLOR?
28. EYE COLOR?
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
30 FAVORITE FOOD?
cheese and pasta
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Happy Endings, I don't like scary movies at all.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Really watched? I can't remember, but Hard Hat Harry was playing yesterday
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Spring, summer if I have to choose one of those
35. HUGS OR KISSES?
36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
38. Least likely to respond?
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Carrots Love Tomatoes and Hundered Dollar Holidays
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
no mouse pad
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT?
42. FAVORITE SOUND?
my kids laughing
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
both-depends on the day
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO READING?
Everyone on my sidebar
Posted by RasJane at 9:47 AM
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Grandma is indeed a good thing. Or rather a good someone. She has been wonderful to have around. Especially when you need a cozy loving place to take a nap when your big brothers wear you out. I enjoy having her around too! She is even using the sucky machine to make me a new shirt. She has to use the sucky one because the Vking broke. Again. Some random piece of plastic went flying out the back mid-stitch. I didn't think it had any plastic parts to it. Apparently this piece is critical to the functioning of the machine. Whatever. It may be time to stimulate the economy with a purchase of a sewing machine. Come on tax refund.
Our dinner tonight. Another good thing. Avocadoes, bruno tomatoes, sweet potato fries, amaranth tortillas with buffalo and amaranth filling. The tortillas turned out amazing! I was playing with one of my Christmas presents, a Kitchen Aid grain mill attachment. I wanted to know if it would grind fine grains like amaranth since the flours are hard to get uncontaminated. At least in my use-every-5-day-all-day price range. It did the job perfectly. So I mixed the fresh flour with a bit of water-enough to make tortilla dough-covered it and let it sit overnight on the counter. A total of about 30 hours. Then I mixed it again and added a dash of sea salt. We pressed the tortillas in the tortilla press and cooked them in the hot cast iron skillet (no oil like other tortillas!). YUM! They were delicious. A great flavor--much more mild than store-bought flour that I have not actually soaked before. And they held together better than even most store-bought flour tortillas. These are definitely going to be a fixture around here. You can read more about amaranth here.
Monday, March 17, 2008
So, dh (darling/dear husband) is out of town for the week. While he is off getting smartified by some leadership gurus, I am here at home getting spoiled by my mom. She is sewing me that shirt I keep meaning to make. She cleaned out the boys' closet and loaded a fair bit of the stuff in it into her van to take home. We went shopping (successfully) for a car seat. I re-organized my canning jars. They are now not in any danger of an imminently crawling person.
I am now nursing a bitty one to bed. With chocolate. I have learned something. There are 3 bars of ScharffenBerger chocolate in my cupboard. With dh here, it is much easier to exercise self control. I can imagine the thoughts in his head as I grab for another bite. He looks at me. I know he must be looking at my hips. Good grief. As if her pants aren't tight enough. And those flannels she insists on wearing! It just gets worse by the day! If she would just stop with the chocolate already. PMS meds be darned! I should buy more veggies at Whole Foods tomorrow. Maybe she'll fill up on those.
But he's not here now. Nope, he's on the other side of the continent. There is nothing, nada, not a thing to prevent me from eating the whole dang Extra Rich Milk Fine Artisan Chocolate bar. All 3 oz of it. Well, hey. 3oz. That's not bad. Now I don't feel so bad. I could just as easily be eating a carton of Ben and Jerry's. At least I know what my tummy will feel like tomorrow if I do that. Hmm, it is 480 calories. Maybe that is a bit steep. I think I'll have salad for dinner tomorrow. And lunch. Perhaps just something lite for breakfast. Yeah right.
I love chocolate. I can eat local pretty much. But they haven't figured out how to grow chocolate in Oregon. Or mangoes. Or avocados. Or bananas. Definite sticking points.
Posted by RasJane at 9:43 PM
First of all, the hail. Yikes. It got serious. We'll usually have hail when we get lots of rain or thunderstorms, but almost always very light. It will rain hard, small hail balls for a minute or 2, then back to rain. Saturday though, we got real live hail. C wondered aloud about the risk to the cars parked outside. But they were fine, and this is really as big as it got. Phew, I would be quite ticked if we had to get body work on the truck just so we could sell it!
Today, E graduated to a new carseat. The infant one is just getting too small. The older brothers were very impressed with the box. Of course. It became the coveted property of the evening. Dinner was called a few times before they emerged. Actually, it was the threat of no dinner that did the trick.
Kid3 in his new throne. I hope he likes it because he will be spending A LOT of time in it over then next 7 years.Grandma J is here and was able to make a few modifications to the car seat cover she made awhile ago. It looks great on it. And see how much E likes it?
Posted by RasJane at 8:33 PM
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Snuggling with Mommy after the bath in the sink. It was lots of fun, but getting more and more frustrating that Mom won't let me grab everything within sight! Oh, and that washing the hair bit? I don't know what all the fuss is about with M and G. I think it's great fun. But it tickles when Mom washes my toes. And I can't help but laugh.
Today, we tried solid food. Everyday, the rest of the family sits around this big brown thing with interesting stuff scattered about. They take cool shiny things and put colorful stuff in their mouths. And they never take it back out! They just put more in! And they refuse to let me play with any of it, except maybe a piece of lettuce once in awhile. But today! Whoo Hoo! Today I got my own shiny thing and some green mushy stuff to put in my mouth. Not at all what I expected. It went down my throat, just like food. I prefer to do it myself. And I think I prefer the shiny thing to the green mushy stuff. Maybe I'll just play with that for a few weeks more.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
M giving his report at Village Home. It got done, miraculously, by noon the day before he had to give it. He wrote (most) of it himself. This kid does love birds of prey. Well animals of almost any kind really. Text below!
California Condors look like giant vultures. They have big pouches under their beaks. On the underside, they have a white stripe at the front of their wings. They have a red blotch on their breast. Then on the tail feathers, there is a gray patch that looks like antelope prongs. The rest of their body is black. A condor's feet and head are bald. This keep disease away. Condors eat carrion, or dead meat. Often the meat is already rotting or filled with maggots. If their head was covered in feathers, it would be covered in bacteria and maggots. With a bald head, a condor can fly in the sun and the ultraviolet rays will kill any bacteria.
A California Condor can weigh up to 30 pounds. It has a wingspan up to 9.5 feet, or almost 3 meters and can be 4 feet tall. That's one big bird! A condor has a hooked beak like other birds of prey. It's head looks like most other vultures. You can see the ear hole on the side of it's head. Condors can live up to 50 years, which is a long time for a bird. Adult condors' only real predator is humans. Condors are so big that they don't flap their wings much. They flap to take off from the ground, but then just soar. They can soar at 55 miles per hour and reach heights up to 15,000 feet. They like to perch up high so it's easier to take off. But they have to perch on dead stumps and cliffs—they are too heavy for tree branches!
Condors nest on cliffs. They make rocky nest in the cliffs, and the sad thing is they only lay one egg per mating season. Or 1 egg per year. Unless the egg is taken away, then the pair will mate again and make another egg. They can make up to 3 eggs a year if you do this. This is one way conservationists are helping condors. If conservationists did not take the eggs, there would only be one egg every 2 years.
Condors used to live all over the Southwest. Now they only live in Southern California, the Grand Canyon, and Baja California. California Condors almost went extinct. The last wild Condor was put in captivity in 1987 so they could be bred. The number of condors in the wild is growing. There are now 300 condors living, 155 condors in the wild.
Threats to the condor include, habitat destruction, DDT, and lead poisoning. DDT use has been banned, so this is no longer a major threat. But lead poisoning is still a serious threat. Hunters who use lead shot leave animals entrails in the wild. Condors eat the entrails and the lead shot. The lead builds up in their system, giving them lead poisoning. Even if it doesn't kill an adult condor, the babies will not make it. Some places are trying to pass laws outlawing lead shot, but the NRA opposes this.
Four main places are working on breeding condors. They are the San Diego Zoo, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Boise Center for Birds of Prey, and the Oregon Zoo.
What can kids do to help the condors? We can tell people all about condors and what cool birds they are. If you know a hunter, you can tell them about the dangers of lead shot and ask them to use non toxic bullets. Also remember to clean up your trash. Condors like shiny things and take them back to the nest for their young. This is because bones are good for baby condors. Glass, cans, pop tops and other trash isn't. Littering hurts all animals.
I really like California Condors. They are amazing birds. I hope that people can save them so we can see them flying in the wild forever.
Today was den meeting for Cub Scouts. The boys had made tin can ovens in their last meeting and today they cooked hot dogs on them. Fire, food, boys, FUN!
E's toy from Lilbees came the other day. He loves it. Thanks, Brightonwoman!
This is the face that greets me when I walk into the room. Awwwww. He is very social and like most people. He'll even generally let people hold him and such. But I love the way he smiles at me.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Usually, I'll pick up books based on the recommendations of others. I haven't always been that way, it's just that with time allotted to me for finding, obtaining and reading books I just can't waste it on a book that is no good. But I ran accoss a book at the library that looked interesting if nothing else. I had actually searched "local economy" and it came up. I was brave. I took it home. It sat on the library shelf for a week. I wasn't that brave apparently. But I picked it up. In just a few pages I was hooked. I love this book!
McKibben is neither conservative nor liberal, but he is highly critical of the"American Dream" and mainstream economists. He advocates for more localized economies. Case in point: Food. Did you know that food you ate for lunch most likely traveled an average of 1,500 miles?! We use more energy to ship food than food actually contains. How is this "efficient" Small farms really produce more food per acre. It just costs a little bit more and takes more man power. So? It is much more sustainable.
McKibben goes beyond food though and speaks to our culture of more. I'm only about 1/2 done with the book. If I decide I hate the ending I'll let you know. But so far, I don't think that will happen. Good read. Go get it. ;)
Brightonwoman I guess has more reflection time up there in the cold and snow. Or maybe she is just smarter. I dunno. Anyway, on Saturday, she posted about being a woman. I totally agree with her. So rather than being a copy cat or trying to say it as well as she did, I'll just say, Yeah That.
Posted by RasJane at 8:17 AM
Sunday, March 09, 2008
E sitting up! Of course, he doesn't stay up like this for long. Eventually he has to make contact with the toes. He still loves his toes most of all. See, all the other toys have a tendency to disappear down to the floor or just out of reach. Not toes. Toes are good little toys and stay right where you want them. What's more is you never have to wait for mom to figure out exactly what toy you want. And even if you do stray and play with another toy, the toes are always there, faithful and true. And they are so gosh darn cute--even mom can't resist playing with them and kissing them!
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Okay, I know I really should have taken pictures. But I was elbow deep in potting soil, whadda want anyway?
The Territorial order came today. After months of their catalogs piling up on our table, dreamily looking through them over dinner, with conversations revolving mostly about our dirt in the backyard, we ordered. The first half came today. So, we have our seeds, our our new compost thingamagig, our topsy turvy's and our seed starting stuff.
The kids had a great time helping me start our second batch of seeds. We did one tray on Monday (I think?) and then started some of the seeds we got today. Let's see if I can remember all we have:
some random head lettuce from last year
Adam hybrid pickling cukes
lemon cukes (for the topsy turvy and snacking on the patio)
snack jack pumpkin
some pumpkin M got from Village
yellow "gold rush" zucchini
Then we have the stuff we'll direct sow or start later, as well as the plants we ordered. I got some tomatoes, including cherry tomatoes to put in the other topsy turvy also for porch snacking and eggplant. In seeds we got some amaranth, more lettuce, peas and beans, more flowers and I can't remember what all else. But if you're in the area this summer, stop by for dinner!
Posted by RasJane at 4:25 PM
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
I read this book quite some time ago, and I appreciate Wagner's perspective. Many writers, in writing about birth, come to the table with an outsiders perspective. Marsden Wagner is an insider who is horrified by the way we handle birth, the rights of mothers and the rights of families in this country. He gives an honest look at where we're at, why we're here, and what needs to change. If you have not researched the state of birthing in the US or only looked as far as your OB/Parents Magazine and the popular literature, you will cringe. There is a huge financial stake at risk for OB's and Insurance companies. ACOG is one of the biggest lobbies in DC. Women and their families are the last focus of the current system. Do you really want to rank under money, career stability, prestige and a new car when it comes to giving birth? I sure don't.
From Amazon reviews:
*Starred Review* The outspoken former director of Women's and Children's Health at the World Health Organization believes maternity and perinatal care in the U.S. are seriously flawed. To make the point, he cites recent Centers for Disease Control findings that 28 countries have lower maternity-mortality rates; 41, lower infant-mortality rates. This despite the fact that the U.S. spends twice as much or more per capita on health care than any other industrialized nation. Wagner places responsibility squarely on the shoulders of obstetricians and the lobbying power of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Interested in one thing above all else--maintaining control of a lucrative market--that group, he avers, foists unnecessary, expensive, and invasive medical interventions upon women when none are needed. Obstetricians are only necessary, he says, in a minority of cases in which serious medical problems threaten the life of mother or child. For the most part, childbirth isn't a medical condition, and infant and maternal mortality rates are lowest in countries in which midwives attend to it. Speaking from his experience as a clinical perinatologist and a perinatal epidemiologist and supplemented by the hoard of credible sources cited in the copious endnotes, Wagner pulls no punches in advocating a woman's right to control the entire reproductive process, from conception through birth. Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
In this rare, behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in hospitals across the country, a longtime medical insider and international authority on childbirth assesses the flawed American maternity care system, powerfully demonstrating how it fails to deliver safe, effective care for both mothers and babies. Written for mothers and fathers, obstetricians, nurses, midwives, scientists, insurance professionals, and anyone contemplating having a child, this passionate exposé documents how, in the most expensive maternity care system in the world, women have lost control over childbirth and what the disturbing results of this phenomenon have been. Born in the USA examines issues including midwifery and the safety of out-of-hospital birth, how the process of becoming a doctor can adversely affect both practitioners and their patients, and why there has been a rise in the use of risky but doctor-friendly interventions, including the use of Cytotec, a drug that has not been approved by the FDA for pregnant women. Most importantly, this gripping investigation, supported by many troubling personal stories, explores how women can reclaim the childbirth experience for the betterment of themselves and their children.
Born in the USA tells:
* Why women are 70% more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe
* What motivates obstetricians to use dangerous and unnecessary drugs and procedures
* How the present malpractice crisis has been aggravated by the fear of accountability
* Why procedures such as cesarean section and birth inductions are so readily used
From the Inside Flap
"Dr. Wagner depicts the state of obstetrical care in the United States with clarity and accuracy. He is clearly an 'insider' who has the courage to tell the truth about how our love affair with birth technology adversely affects both mothers and babies. Importantly, he outlines a path toward much-needed change. Born in the USA should be 'must' reading, not only for all pregnant women, but also for all ob/gyn physicians, hospital personnel, and those who make public policy. Dr. Wagner has done all of us a great service with this book."--Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom
About the Author
Marsden Wagner, a physician and scientist, is a former Director of Women's and Children's Health at the World Health Organization and a recipient of an Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine. He is author of many books, including Pursuing the Birth Machine: The Search for Appropriate Birth Technology and Tough Choices: In Vitro Fertilization and the Reproductive Technologies.
From Amazon reviews:
From Publishers Weekly
According to writer and editor Block (Our Bodies, Ourselves), "the United States has the most intense and widespread medical management of birth" in the world, and yet "ranks near the bottom among industrialized countries in maternal and infant mortality." Block shows how, in transforming childbirth into a business, hospitals have turned "procedures and devices developed for the treatment of abnormality" into routine practice, performed for no reason than "speeding up and ordering an unpredictable...process"; for instance, the U.S. cesarean section rate tripled in the 1970s, and has doubled since then. Block looks into a growing contingent of parents-to-be exploring alternatives to the hospital-and the attendant likelihood of medical intervention-by seeking out birthing centers and options for home-birth. Unfortunately, obstacles to these alternatives remain considerable-laws across the U.S. criminalizing or severely restricting the practice of midwifery have led the trained care providers to practice underground in many states-while tort reform has done next to nothing to lower malpractice insurance rates or improve hospital birthing policies. This provocative, highly readable expose raises questions of great consequence for anyone planning to have a baby in U.S., as well as those interested or involved in women's health care.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal, 5/15/07
"A stirring discussion of reproductive rights, informed consent, and the rights of the mother vs. the fetus... Recommended."
Kirkus Reviews, (Starred Review) 5/15/07
"A gripping expose... Provocative and hotly controversial analysis of a side of reproductive rights feminism seems to have forgot."
Chicago Reader, 6/29/07
"The book is loaded with interviews, statistics and...some quietly deft storytelling."
BOLD Book Club, October 2007
"[Block] really gets that maternity care is a woman's issue that all people should care about, not just mothers, and she has no agenda through a birth experience or professional work in maternity care. Pushed shines a spotlight on maternity care and asks important questions about the standard practices in America."
Kansas City Star, 10/02/07
"This is a worthwhile book for anyone who cares about reforming our health-care system--right from the start."
A provocative and incisive analysis of childbirth in the age of machines, malpractice, and managed care.
In the United States, more than half the women who give birth are given drugs to induce or speed up labor; for nearly a third of mothers, childbirth is major surgery - the cesarean section. For women who want an alternative, choice is often unavailable: Midwives are sometimes inaccessible; in eleven states they are illegal. In one of those states, even birthing centers are outlawed.
When did birth become an emergency instead of an emergence? Since when is normal, physiological birth a crime?
A groundbreaking journalistic narrative, Pushed presents the complete picture of maternity care in America. Crisscrossing the country to report what women really experience during childbirth, Jennifer Block witnessed several births - from a planned cesarean to an underground home birth. Against this backdrop, Block investigates whether routine C-sections, inductions, and epidurals equal medical progress. She examines childbirth as a reproductive rights issue: Do women have the right to an optimal birth experience? If so, is that right being upheld?
Block's research and experience reveal in vivid detail that while emergency obstetric care is essential, there is compelling evidence that we are overusing medical technology at the expense of maternal and infant health: Either women's bodies are failing, or the system is failing women.
About the Author
Jennifer Block is a former editor at Ms. Magazine and an editor of the revised Our Bodies, Ourselves. Her work has appeared in such publications as the Village Voice, The Nation, Mother Jones, and ELLE. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.