All About Bush Tucker
Hundreds of kilometres from supermarkets and fast food outlets in remote parts of Australia, many indigenous people live off the land with a bush tucker diet.
The food-hunting survival skills, passed down for generations, ensure outback inhabitants can survive on a bush diet and lifestyle, marked by long-distance walkabouts crucial for fleeing seasonal floods and famine.
This DIY style of sustenance includes foraging for witchetty grubs, picking macadamias, digging for honey ants and fishing for barramundi, which makes a bush tucker diet low in fat, high in protein and preservative-free.
Clarence Slockee, Educational Coordinator for Aboriginal Programs at The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, says that while it is traditionally associated with the outback, edible native fauna and flora is available anywhere in Australia, so the term bush tucker is really a misnomer.
‘Any native equivalent seems to automatically end up with the word bush before it, like bush tomato, bush potato and bush banana,’ says Clarence.
‘This is mainly because these foods are indeed found in the drier climes of what is termed the outback.’
According to Clarence, the two big commercially available bush medicines are eucalyptus and tea tree oil, while macadamia nuts are Australia’s major commercially grown bush food and are exported overseas.