Deskilling
Breastfeeding, eating, food

Deskilling: A Food Producer’s Strategy Guide to Creating a Dependent Client Base

I never considered that this was actually a strategy.  Really, it just seemed like an almost inevitable trajectory of mankind as we became more and more clever with our witty inventions to make our lives “easier”.  Yes, it is a thing, and it has a name – Deskilling.  From the book Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat? by Philip H. Howard, Bloomsbury 2016: 

Deskilling is a term that is frequently used in reference to labor, when capitalists reshape jobs in order to decrease wages (Braverman 1998).  It can also apply when capitalists reshape socio-cultural practices to increase purchases, moving us away from self-provisioning to become mere “consumers” (Jaffe and Gertler 2006).  Deskilling increases control for capitalists but makes us more dependent upon them by eroding our knowledge and abilities.  (emphasis added)

 

Deskilling: The Formula

Like Janet said, its all about control.  Let’s take an example from the earliest point in life this side of Womb-topia: infant formula.  According to an article on the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s website, the first infant formula was invented in the late Deskilling19th century.  Before that, babies were fed animal milk only in very rare circumstances.  If their mothers couldn’t (or wouldn’t) nurse them, they were fed human milk by a hired wet nurse.  These alternatives were options only of necessity.

Before long, with the industrial revolution and ensuing shifts in the world’s paradigms sending more and more women out of the home and into the workforce, the use of infant formula – the first one was a blend of cow’s milk, wheat and malt flour and potassium bicarbonate – became more widespread.  Certainly, corporations producing it, perhaps in tandem with dairy farmers, saw dollar signs dancing before their eyes, and eventuallyDeskilling, in a grand deskilling coup, breastfeeding became outmoded, even taboo.

Now that we in America are deskilled in the art of breastfeeding to the point that our mothers and grandmothers are hardly equipped to guide us, Nestle an’ dem have control of our infant’s nourishment from day one. Hospital nurses are often ready to stick a bottle in your newborn’s mouth by default.

You get free product to start from those that want your continued custom (a.k.a. the first hit is free tactic).  Then, if you can’t afford to buy more, you can go on the government rolls and apply for benefits to cover it.  You have no control over what ingredients go in it.  Had you considered delaying your baby’s first taste of sugar so he can develop a real palate for food?  Sorry, mama, Gerber already got’em!  Once the baby is on it and you let your milk supply end, that’s it.  You’re locked in for at least the next 2 years.

Moments in Deskilling History

Here’s a list of a few more products that we purchase regularly as a result of systematic deskilling:

  • Box Cake Mix – Can you say “Flour, Sugar, Eggs and Butter?” I had to in Home Economics class, which I think has now gone the way of the dinosaur!
  • Jam/Jelly – Preserving fruit was originally for enjoying summer’s jam-1308014_1920.jpgharvest throughout the following winter.  Who does that anymore?
  • Bagged/Microwave Popcorn – Kernels in a pot cost much less and you can control your flavoring to suit you.  Only God and food scientists know what’s really in those pouches…
  • Bagged and Clamshell Salads and Baby Spinach – E-coli, anyone? Not if you buy heads and bunches and CUT IT UP YOURSELF!  Man, deskilling kills…
  • Supermarkets – Because why waste time and get all dirty growing and harvesting food yourself? Why only eat what is local and in season?

Convenience is the sales pitch, but our dependence on food producers is their lifeblood.  It is powerful in a dangerous way.  Indeed, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Because now, what they provide has become your norm, and you’re hooked.  

If you were to make your own fruit preserves, for example, would it taste like theirs?  Never!  Big food employs teams of scientists to spend all day figuring out the exact amount of sugar to put into the jam to get you hooked and keep you coming back for more.  In their language, they engineer it to your pleasure point.  Now does that truly sound like someone making food?

The Future of Deskilling

So what happens when a country or society is totally deskilled?  I mean, where do the companies that have saturated a market now turn to?  Indeed, there are places all over our world that are still “backwards” or “underdeveloped” by our standards.  Never fear! Corporations are here!  According to Concentration and Power, companies actively look for new societies to “deskill” so that they can create new dependent client bases for their products.  They insidiously create need where there was none before.

Imagine being told your way of life is ignorant and old.  Imagine the heartbreak when the young people in your society agree with this critique, eschewing inherited cultural wisdom for new-fangled shortcuts that take control out of your peoples’ hands and puts it into the hands of interlopers.  Soon, the deskilling process is complete and your whole way of life has changed.

No more home gardening, market trading with neighbors, seed saving, peak season eating, home cooking, time honored traditions of storing and preserving.  Kids don’t got no time for that!

Surely this cannot end well! 

You foresee an epoch where your once proud people now cry hungry even with whole, real food within their grasp because they don’t now how to prepare it, all because of deskilling.  Can you imagine a future in which a young person doesn’t even know how to boil a pot of water?  We have plug in kettles, instant oatmeal, microwave bags of foods that eliminate that necessity already.  Deskilling mission: accomplished!

Sure, there is some deskilling I will NEVER argue with – dishwashers, washing machines, and disposable diapers are GREAT inventions!  But then again, if for some reason these were not available – like when we reach peak oil – I do still know how to wash dishes, clothes and cloth diapers by hand.

Rise Up: Down With Deskilling, Rise Up Reskilling

Yes, there is hope.  Let’s start RE-skilling, friends!  Let’s exchange ideas and information and commit to teaching our children how to, well, do stuff!  It will take some effort.  We will need to reshape our way of thinking.  Old needs to become new again as we in-mode DIY everything (except washing dishes and clothes, I concede to the machines for those chores unless absolutely necessary).

Indeed, it seems to be the direction things are starting to move in these days, with the urban garden movement and the search for solutions to ending the global Diabesity Pandemic.

We can keep this conversation going.  Join the Really Nourish Reskilling Collective Chat on WhatsApp by clicking below.

It’s another great way of taking back our Food Sovereignty!

Deskilling

Click Here to join the chat group on your mobile device.

food

Life Coaching and Classes… On WhatsApp???

It’s a new world and it is constantly evolving.  Always being willing to do things in new ways is no longer optional.  So I’m expanding Really Nourish’s Food Life Evolution services into a new platform: Life Coaching and Classes On WhatsApp!

Life Coaching and Classes... On WhatsApp

I’m calling it Food Life Evolution Classroom, and I’m taking WhatsApp’s Group Chat feature to a whole new level!  We have a free coaching group going, and three classes.  You Define On timeWhat makes this so special is that it all fits into your life however you want it to!  Jump on  class chat during your lunch break, scroll through content on your ride home or lying in bed, anytime!  Life Coaching and Classes On WhatsApp is designed to help you get into your Best Body Ever at your own pace.

Click Here for More Details

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Giving, Organ Donation

10 Pioneering Medical Transplants

One deceased organ donor can save as many as eight lives between organ and tissue transplants possible.  On Wednesday 10/10/18, LiveOnNY.org asks New Yorkers to “Unleash Your Inner Hero” and sign up for organ donation.  This is especially urgent in the Empire State, since it is 50th out of 50 states in percentage of registered organ donors at a paltry thirty-three percent.  Here’s a list of ten Pioneering Medical Transplants – the genesis of real life heroism.   

1665 The First Recorded Successful Blood Transfusion

It was in the 17th century the earliest known blood transfusion is attempted.  In 1628 English physician William Harvey discovered blood circulation. Not long after, the earliest known blood transfusion is attempted.  In England in 1665, the first recorded successful blood transfusion was performed, but not on humans. Man’s best friend really earned its name by being the test subject for this life saving procedure.  Physician Richard Lower kept dogs alive by transfusing blood from other dogs.

More than fifty years later,the first successful blood transfusion of human blood was performed in 1818 by Dr. James Blundell to treat postpartum hemorrhage. Blood types were not discovered for another 82 years, but once they were, doctors began developing blood typing and cross matching between donors and patients to improve the safety of transfusions. The universality of the O blood group was identified in 1907.  Later discoveries, including sodium citrate for use as an anticoagulant, the Rh blood group, and plastic implements for collection and storage of blood greatly improved the thirty day survival rate of patients post transfusion.

1838 First Corneal Transplant

This was actually the first successful human organ transplant.  Corneal transplantation, also known as keratoplasty, is the only therapeutic procedure for many disorders of the cornea that can lead to blindness. It can also benefit patients with infection, pain or perforation of the cornea.  In fact, in 1838 the first corneal transplant in a human was performed using a cornea from a pig was grafted into a human recipient. It remained transparent for a couple of weeks. Richard Kissam reported this years before the invention of anaesthesia!  

In successive years, more partial thickness transplants were performed.  The first “full-thickness” corneal transplant in a human being happened in 1906.  This is the transplant that paved the way for the growth of the procedure and the opening of eye banks in different countries to perform them. As immunosuppression medications improved, failure rate for corneal transplantation has lowered, with approximately twenty-five percent of corneas being lost by four to five years post transplant.

1954 First Successful Human Kidney Transplant

The first documented successful kidney transplants were experiments performed on animals in 1902 at the Vienna Medical School in Austria.  Then, in 1933 the first human-to-human kidney transplant was performed, but the donor kidney never functioned because doctors were unaware that mismatches in donor and recipient blood groups were problematic in the procedure.  Indeed, what made the 1954 transplant successful was that it the donor and recipient were identical twins. It was performed by a team headed by Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Because their organs were indistinguishable to each other’s immune systems, no immunosuppressive medication was necessary.

While advances in kidney transplantation were happening, there were other developments being perfected that helped keep renal failure patients alive.  Kidney dialysis was keeping patients alive by using an artificial kidney to purify human blood, which is what normal functioning kidneys do every day. Nonetheless, surgeons charged ahead, developing a surgical procedure that would not only place a new kidney in the patient, but connect all the necessary tubes and blood vessels, and improving immunosuppression upon accurately understanding why our bodies fight off foreign organs.

1956 The First Successful Bone Marrow Transplant

In the early nineteen hundreds, doctors made the first ever attempt to treat patients with a donor’s bone marrow. However, this treatment was unsuccessful, as the bone marrow was given by mouth. The first successful transplant was again between  identical twins. It was performed by Dr E Donnall Thomas in New York. The patient, who had leukaemia, first had radiotherapy and then was given the healthy bone marrow.

Two years later, in November 1958, French oncologist and immunologist Dr. Georges Mathé performs a human bone marrow transplant using bone marrow from donors who were not related to their recipients.  The six patients were Yugoslav engineers who were irradiated at different levels after a nuclear reactor incident. Later, researchers discover bone marrow contains at least two kinds of stem cells – blood or haematopoietic stem cells ( these form all the types of blood cells in the body) and stromal stem cells(these form bone, cartilage, fat and connective tissue).

1963 First Lung Transplant

Up until Dr. James Hardy performed the first human lung transplant in 1963, Dr. Hardy and his team had performed about four hundred transplant experiments on dogs at their Jackson, Mississippi.  Repeatedly, although the transplanted lungs seemed to function reasonably well early after transplantation, the dogs ultimately rejected the lungs within a month despite various immunosuppressants available at the time.

The transplant recipient was a 58-year old man who had lung cancer involving the left main airway and obstructing distal airways resulting in lung collapse and recurrent pneumonia.  He was a prison inmate, serving a life sentence. Nonetheless, Dr. Hardy treated his patient with dignity, carefully outlining the potential complications and risks with him in detail.  He agreed to proceed. The donor had been brought to the emergency department because of a massive heart attack resulting in heart failure and shock, and once he passed away, the family consented to the donation. Over the next ten years only 36 lung transplants were performed worldwide and the majority of recipients died within a few days. In 1983, the Toronto Lung Transplant Group performed the first successful lung transplant.  The recipient was another 58-year old man, this one suffering from pulmonary fibrosis. When the group reported their experience in 1986, he was alive and leading a normal lifestyle. This success was remarkably encouraging for pulmonary physicians and patients with lung disease.

1966 First Successful Pancreas Transplant

In December 1966, more than 50 years ago, doctors at the University of Minnesota pioneered the first-ever pancreas transplant. The procedure was performed by surgeons Richard Lillehei and William Kelly. Since then, more than 50,000 pancreas transplants have been performed worldwide, and roughly 30,000 in the United States alone.  University of Minnesota holds the worldwide record, with an impressive 2,300 and counting.

As late as the nineteen nineties, one out of every six type 1 diabetics would not live to see their fortieth birthday. That mortality rate increased if a patient suffered kidney failure, a common complication of type 1 diabetes. Pancreas and kidney transplantation offered a solution.  With improved surgical techniques, new immunosuppressive medications that decreased the chance transplant rejection and more effective antibiotics, success rates greatly improved. One University of Minnesota physician is quoted as saying “Transplantation of a kidney and a pancreas not only improves a patient’s quality of life—making that person insulin and dialysis free—it also has been shown to extend life”.  Modern medicine: one, Premature death: nil!

1967 First Successful Liver Transplant

It was Thomas E. Starzl, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP (Hon.) who performed this groundbreaking surgery.  He lived to be 90 years old and passed away in 2017. He conducted the procedure at University of Colorado  in Denver, where he was serving as professor and chair of surgery. He is also credited with performing the first successful pediatric liver transplant. Starzl attempted the first human  liver transplant in 1963, but a successful liver transplant was not achieved until 1967. In 1970 survival rates were dismal—approximately fifteen percent at the one-year follow-up. The discovery of the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine in the early 1980s led to improvements in rejection rates, and soon liver transplantation became a more viable treatment.

Living liver donation is possible because of the liver’s remarkable capacity to regenerate.  It only takes about one week to regenerate back to it’s full size after a portion of it has been removed.  Also, when transplanted, the liver can regenerate to suit the size of its new host. In the few cases where baboon livers have been transplanted into people, they quickly grow to the size of a human liver.

1988 First Successful Intestinal Transplant

Although experiments were being conducted in the early 20th century, intestinal transplantation has only recently become a viable clinical procedure. As the largest lymphoid organ in the body and host to a multitude of foreign antigens, the small bowel has presented a challenge throughout the history of organ transplants. In 1902, French Nobel laureate Alexis Carrel performs experiments in which intestinal segments are implanted in the necks of dogs.  Man’s best friend comes through yet again!

In the 1960s Initial attempts at intestinal transplantation are suspended due to poor graft and patient survival. Of eight human intestinal recipients recorded during this period, none survived; this was due to ineffective immunosuppressive drugs.  Patients transplanted in Kiel, Germany in 1988 and in Paris, France in 1989 became the first long-term survivors with sufficient graft function. Also in 1988, in London, Ontario the first successful combined liver-intestinal graft was performed. The recipient lived several years after.

1999 First Successful Hand Transplant Performed in the United States

Surgeons in Louisville, Kentucky, performed the first successful hand transplant in the United States.  The surgery replaced the left hand of a New Jersey man with one taken from an unidentified donor who had died a few hours earlier.  The 15-hour operation was performed at Louisville Jewish Hospital. The first hand transplant was carried out in Ecuador in 1964. It failed after two weeks when the recipient’s body rejected the donor hand. At the time only crude anti-rejection therapy was available.

As of 2017, there have been approximately 100 hands transplanted on more than 60 patients around the world. A hand transplant, unlike a solid organ transplant, involves multiple tissues (skin, muscle, tendon, bone, cartilage, fat, nerves and blood vessels) and is called vascularized composite allotransplantation, or VCA..

2010 First Successful Full Face Transplant

At Barcelona’s Vall d’Hebron hospital, a 31-year-old man received the world’s first successful full face transplant in March 2010.  During the 24-hour surgery, a team of 30 surgeons lifted an entire face, including jaw, nose, cheekbones, muscles, teeth and eyelids, and placed it mask-like on to the man.  The transplant was necessary after the man accidentally shot himself in the face in 2005. Four months after the surgery, the patient spoke at a press conference. Beforehand, he had been unable to breathe or eat on his own. By the time of the press conference, he was able to drink liquids and eat soft foods

The first partial face transplant, was carried out in France in 2005.

References:

Blood Transfusion: https://stanfordbloodcenter.org/a-brief-history-of-blood-transfusion-through-the-years/

Link 2: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1600-6143.2004.00417.x

Link 3: https://web.stanford.edu/dept/HPS/transplant/html/history.html

Bone Marrow: https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1971-bone-marrow-transplants-timeline

Lung Transplant: https://secondwindstl.org/who-we-are/articles-by-dr-hacheem/the-history-of-lung-transplantation/

Pancreas Transplant: https://www.mhealth.org/blog/2017/may-2017/50-years-after-first-pancreas-transplant-doctors-patients-celebrate-pioneering-procedure

Liver Transplant: http://www.aappublications.org/news/2017/04/20/Obits042017, https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/431783-overview, http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/liver/regen.html

Intestinal Transplant: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955470X9780033X, http://www.chp.edu/our-services/transplant/intestine/advances/history

Hand Transplant: https://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/26/us/doctors-in-louisville-perform-nation-s-first-hand-transplant.html, http://www.handtransplant.com/

Full Face Transplant: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jul/26/full-face-transplant-patient

 

 

 

activism, Giving, Organ Donation

Unleashing My Inner Hero #DonorDay2018

Live On NY is holding it’s 4th annual Organ Donor Enrollment Day.  the theme is Unleash Your Inner Hero.  Indeed, I am unleashing my inner hero, although with a great deal of humility and a commitment to improving other people’s lives who have a need greater than any that I have.  inner hero.png

I found a great spot, too!  Berkeley Drugs on the corner of Kings Highway and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn has been a mainstay in the community I grew up in.  As a kid, I used to go there, sometimes with my grandma to pick up prescriptions.  I bought holiday and birthday cards there for my loved ones with my saved up money.  When I played sports in high school I went there for Ace bandages and ice packs, and at age sixteen, in an exasperated attempt to do away with excess fat for once and for all, I bought weight loss shake mix there.

Enrollment_Day_1.2e16d0ba.fill-768x576.jpg

Having a chance to actually go back to my community to do some good work – raise awareness about organ donation and get people signed up to help close the gap – is exciting!  I plan to also go to my elementary school to visit and bring sign up forms and a poster so faculty and staff there can get on the list as well.  If you cannot come in person, click here to sign up online as a donor.

Please reach out to volunteer, a few hours or all day, or to support in any other way.  If you’d like to help out with some money, you can fund my PayPal at shida@reallynourish.com.

Also please share this article with your networks and Support our Event on Facebook.

Use and follow #DonorDay2018

activism, food, Organ Donation

Organ Donors: Real Superheros?

Are Organ Donors real superheros?  It certainly doesn’t feel like it…

I know I helped someone in a major way.  Nonetheless, I’m not immortal, I have no superpowers (well, except making milk for my babies, but that had nothing to do with giving an organ) and I only directly impacted one person’s life.

Real superheros save entire cities from peril… 

I want to do more.  So I’m using the only other superpowers I can boast:

  • Powerful writing to inspire all who read
  • Invincible collaborating skills
  • A disarming smile

to bring together a league of incredible super donors.  Together we will uphold truth, justice and giving of oneself.

Join me today in The 2018 LiveOnNy Donor Enrollment Drive

WE really can save lives, though: one more willing donor on the donor list means one less neighbor dying on the recipient list.

Let this video convince you, then scroll down and fill in the sign up form.  You can be on Team Really Nourish even if you’ve never donated an organ.

We’re not the only real superheros… 

©2018 Rashida V. Serrant-Davis, The Really Nourish Movement. All Rights Reserved. 

Really Nourish™, The Really Nourish Movement™ and Food Life Evolution™ are Trademarks of Rashida V. Serrant-Davis.  All Rights Reserved. 

Organ Donation, Weight Loss

New Kindle Unlimited Book #DonorLife

He’s in Dominica.  That was the goal.  He could have been stuck in New York City, there doing nothing but counting hours between dialysis treatments.  He’s in Dominica, talking about flying over to England for a while before visiting New York, free to travel in his senior years and live in his beautiful house on our family estate.

In honor of my dad’s 2 post surgery birthday, I’m re-releasing the book #DonorLife, because I just need to share my story with you.  You can now download it on Kindle or Kindle Unlimited.  I’m giving it out for free on August 19, 2018.  In return, please write me a review and share it with your networks.

God bless you!

Food Life Evolution, Weight Loss

Weight Loss Programs Should Offer a Free Pair of Pants for When You Get Skinny.

Let me preface this by assuring you that this is NOT a complaint.  I decided to write “Weight Loss Programs Should Offer a Free Pair of Pants for When You Get Skinny” because going from the obese BMI category to the normal one is a goal that many people have but nobody prepares for.  I certainly did not.

Yesterday, I went onto Reddit and searched “weight loss”, looking for a subreddit where I could put up a post to inform people about the launch of Food Life Evolution.  I saw a list of posts.  One said something like “Weight Loss Programs Should Offer A Free Pair of Pants for When You Get Skinny”. 

I was like “I know, right???” 

Truth is, I had it in my head that some of the clothes I bought when I was just starting my

Weight Loss Programs Should Offer A Free Pair of Pants for When You Get Skinny
These are the fabulous pants from Bebe that I gave away a couple of weeks ago because I’m now TOO SMALL for them!

evolution would just fit or wear better on my future normal-sized body.  In 2016, when I was down to around 192 lbs, I bought this fabulous pair of pants at Bebe.  Just having lost my first 20 pounds, I was excited just to be able to shop there, because they don’t sell anything bigger than a size 12.  I bought the pants in a 12.

I tried to wear them this year, 2018, on Mother’s Day.  I spent most of the church service trying to stop them from falling off my waist!  Soon after, I gave those and a few more bagfuls of great clothing away.

What did I have left?  Very.  Few. Garments.

Indeed, weight loss programs should offer a free pair of pants for when you get skinny.  If nothing else, we need the first pair so we can have something to wear when we go shopping for more!

Living in New York, I had been in the habit of going clothing shopping every month, but when I did, it was just to pick up a couple of items at a time.  Never in my life have I had to replenish an entire wardrobe!  Just as I was writing that, I thought about my mother’s plight every time I had a growth spurt as a child.  My feet even got slimmer, so I need to go try on shoes and figure out what size to buy!

My advice?

As you evolve, prepare for your future body by buying new clothes for your future self bit by bit. Even if they don’t fit now, just buy them.  If you’re serious about your evolution, trust me, you will need them in time!

How am I handling this problem?

Sadly, clothing shopping monthly is not an option for me in Trinidad.  Somehow they end up with the worst quality apparel here, and I am still learning my way around.  Nonetheless, in this fast fashion world I’m blessed to receive free new clothes from the US for my new body size from a friend who has a clothing retail shop, so at least I’m not walking around in my birthday suit!

Nonetheless, the time has come for me to shop and buy a whole new wardrobe.  So I googled ethical clothing, went to some sites and started loading virtual shopping baskets and carts with my best picks!  I took the best of those from Reformation, Irregular Choice, GUNAS NY, Stella McCartney, Pact and Siizu and made a vision board sheet in PowerPoint.  I even covered some of the model’s faces with my own and added new jewelry pieces.

My other option is custom made.  I’m determined to learn how to sew, and I’m also learning about local designers who make beautiful clothes.

I am 145 lbs 5 months after having my third baby, with perfect blood pressure and blood sugar readings at every clinic visit.  Needless to say I am enjoying my best body ever immensely!  Looking forward to more new clothes and more photos of me in my new, slim empress wardrobe!

20180814_132431Want to know how I did it and how YOU CAN TOO?

Click FOOD LIFE EVOLUTION™ to find out! 

Disclaimer: Food Life Evolution™ is not just a weight loss program and we don’t currently offer a free pair of pants for when you get skinny, but as a result of this program, you will live the rest of your life in your BEST BODY EVER!  We may add the pants to future incarnations of our seminar series, but if you do our first series, you will be able to say

“I knew them before they had the free pants!”

©2018 Rashida V. Serrant-Davis, The Really Nourish Movement. All Rights Reserved. 

Really Nourish™, The Really Nourish Movement™ and Food Life Evolution™ are Trademarks of Rashida V. Serrant-Davis.  All Rights Reserved.