Bush tucker

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**Group 1: History and Colonization of Bush Tucker**

– Aboriginal Australians have consumed native animal and plant foods for approximately 60,000 years.
– Around 5,000 species of native foods were utilized by Aboriginal peoples.
– Traditional methods like cooking on open fires and boiling in bark containers were common.
– Colonization led to a decline in the consumption of native foods by Aboriginal people.
– Loss of traditional lands reduced access to native foods and destroyed habitats.
– Some botanists and researchers expressed skepticism about the edibility of native Australian plants.

**Group 2: Modern Use and Types of Bush Tucker**

– Non-Indigenous Australians started recognizing the value of native Australian foods in the 1970s.
– Commercial cultivation of native food crops began in the 1990s.
– Kangaroo meat has been available in supermarkets since the 1980s.
– Toxic seeds like Cycas media and Moreton Bay chestnut are processed to remove toxins.
– Native Australian ingredients are used in gourmet recipes.
– Bush bread, kangaroo meat, and various seeds and nuts are common in bush tucker.

**Group 3: Research, Innovation, and Nutritional Value of Bush Tucker**

– Native Australian foods are exceptionally nutritious.
– Cultivated sources are increasingly important for sustainable supply.
– Aboriginal communities are involved in the supply chain.
– Efforts are being made to increase Aboriginal participation in the bush-tucker market.
– Macadamia nuts, green plums, Pigface Australian, Ruby Saltbush, Neptune’s necklace, and Coastal Sword Sedge offer notable health benefits and commercial appeal.

**Group 4: Culinary Uses and Cultural Significance of Bush Tucker**

– Various native plants like Kangaroo Apple, Native Pepper, Lilly Pilly, Native Pigface, and Black Wattle are used in culinary dishes.
– Les Hiddins, Mark Olive, Ray Mears, Les Stroud, and TV shows like ‘Dining Downunder’ and ‘Ray Mears Goes Walkabout’ have popularized and showcased bush tucker.
– Cultural cooking and survival eating in the wilderness are highlighted through bush tucker.

**Group 5: Literature and Further Reading on Bush Tucker**

– Books like ‘Tukka, Real Australian Food,’ ‘The Bushfood Handbook,’ ‘Bushfood,’ and ‘Wild Food Plants of Australia’ provide insights into bush tucker.
Research articles like ‘Australian Native Food Industry Stocktake’ and ‘Cultivation and sustainable wild harvest of Bushfoods by Aboriginal Communities in Central Australia’ offer in-depth information.
– Indigenous Weather Knowledge includes traditional weather indicators related to bush tucker.

Bush tucker (Wikipedia)

Bush tucker, also called bush food, is any food native to Australia and historically eaten by Indigenous Australians, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, but it can also describe any native flora, fauna, or funga used for culinary or medicinal purposes, regardless of the continent or culture. Animal native foods include kangaroo, emu, witchetty grubs and crocodile, and plant foods include fruits such as quandong, kutjera, spices such as lemon myrtle and vegetables such as warrigal greens and various native yams.

Bush tucker
Bush tucker in Alice Springs
Country or regionAustralia
Ethnic groupIndigenous Australians

Traditional Indigenous Australians' use of bushfoods has been severely affected by the settlement of Australia in 1788 and subsequent settlement by non-Indigenous peoples. The introduction of non-native foods, together with the loss of traditional lands, resulting in reduced access to native foods by Aboriginal people, and destruction of native habitat for agriculture, has accentuated the reduction in use.

Since the 1970s, there has been recognition of the nutritional and gourmet value of native foods by non-Indigenous Australians, and the bushfood industry has grown enormously. Kangaroo meat has been available in supermarkets since the 1980s, and many other foods are sold in restaurants or packaged as gourmet foods, which has led to expansion of commercial cultivation of native food crops.

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