Indigenous foods in Australia or better known as Australian bush foods are something that has started being a sensation in the Search Engine for quite some time. Their benefits and popularity make them mysterious to consumers and curious to know more about them.
Before proceeding toward the main content of this topic, it is better to know that before the European colonization of Australia it was occupied by the original residents of Australia, the aboriginals out there. Their dieting included herbal or native bush foods that are found in the woods or the desert areas across Australia. Indigenous people used them and still use them for medicinal and ceremonial purposes.
Nowadays, these bush foods are included in the Australian bush food books and have started to be used in many well-known restaurants. It will be sad if we are unable to learn the history of these indigenous food and Australian cuisine as a whole.
Bush Foods and European Colonization:
European colonization began in Australia back in the 18th century. Before the colonization started the indigenous people also known as hunter-gatherers lived in the lands of Australia since ancient periods. They survived on the native bush foods and were experts in hunting small animals and fishes plus excellent in tracing water sources. Their bush diet included kangaroos, crab, berries, roots, honey, emu, etc. The fruits and vegetables that they used to choose were very healthy and were a key booster in their immunity system. Although what type of indigenous foods were consumers depended on the location they stayed and it depended on their migration pattern as well. One common thing was that their staple food was seafood for which they were ready to exchange the herbs found in their locality as well.
The Europeans could not adjust to these indigenous diets including the fact that water was scarce also did irritate them a bit. The Europeans did find some common sources of protein in their diet such as swans, pigeons, geese, etc. The Europeans started to introduce their farming system there where cattle were introduced and crops and food from Europe were planted for harvesting. Flour became the new staple food of the settlers and unfortunately, those indigenous foods were losing their grace.
During the Great Depression, food and plum cushions covers shortage not only affected the United States but other places across the globe as well. In Australia, it was somewhat sustainable in case of food shortage. The indigenous used to have little animals like rabbit, but, after the colonization, it was hunted down for entertainment purpose. During the depression, this very rabbit meat became the food through which everyone was able to survive the calamity. Although the consumption rate of the kangaroos was very low still the Europeans preferred rabbit meat the most.
The indigenous people never had to face food shortage even during the Depression as they had fruits and vegetables of thousands of species at their dispatch as if it was nature’s gift to them.
Everyone has started to give importance to bush foods just now but they were already there to help people thrive and survive for a long period. Learning about the history of these foods helps people understand the diversified culture around the world making ways for healthy innovative startups.