Author: Daniel Miller
The research project Anthropology of Smartphones and Smart Ageing which is now close to completion was always intended to also develop some practical projects to improve the welfare of the populations where we carried out our research. Many of the deaths that resulted from Covid in Trinidad and Tobago came through co-morbidities with diabetes and hypertension. Anthropological research by Trinidadian anthropologist Sheba Mohammid along with Daniel Miller suggested that while people were knowledgeable about diabetes, the contribution of salt to hypertension was largely unknown. We also found that most health campaigns in the area had received very few responses even when backed up by companies and government and that over the half the population were anti Covid vaccinations. We therefore tried to create our own independent campaign based on what we had learnt from our anthropological research including understanding the reasons behind anti-vaccination. For example, trying to focus on positive and creative possibilities rather than negative messages. We called the result our Chef It Up TT campaign.
The first phase of this campaign which ended on July 31st was a competition around healthy eating. Thanks to the indefatigable Sheba Mohammid and her team this produced exactly what we were hoping for. Within two months we could see a very active Facebook site with over 800 followers who had posted over 200 healthy recipes and effectively created a community of people discussing topics such alternatives to salt.
Please do have a look at our site at https://www.facebook.com/groups/chefituptt and then by all means try out some of these recipes !
In the next phase we will follow this up with a quiz on healthy eating to reduce hypertension which we are developing as a smartphone app.