What exactly is ‘Bush Food’?
At the heart of it, ‘Bush food’ also known as ‘Bush Tucker’ means ingredients native to the Australian land. These kinds of ingredients can range from animal meat such as kangaroos, crocodiles, and emu, to plant-based ingredients like lemon myrtle, pepperberry, and finger limes.
‘Bush food’ has been not only consumed, but has also been utilised by Indigenous Australians for thousands of years. However since European Colonization of Australia, bush food has been consumed less and less, and is now becoming an unknown phenomenon.
There are 6,500 ingredients native to Australia, and we only eat one of them.
Consuming bush food and native Australian ingredients is something that should be encouraged for many reasons:
It’s the only ‘real’ Australian cuisine
Multiple health benefits due to natural ingredients
Unique flavours not commonly found in other foods
Sustainable, as it is used to the Australian landscape
Versatile ingredients that can be incorporated into various style foods
There are numerous amounts of herbs, spices, nuts, and ingredients native to Australia, it’s time we start harnessing what’s in our own backyard.
So how can we eat more native Australian ingredients?
Finding these ingredients is probably easier than you’d expect. There’s probably a surprising amount of native ingredients growing near you, you just have to know what to look for. However if you don’t want to scavenge for your own ingredients, online stores that specialise in Australian native ingredients do all the hard work for you. Grey Wattle not only have the raw ingredients available, but they also incorporate them into ready-to-eat products like tea and chocolate to save you the hassle. Grey Wattle also donate 10% of their profits to organisations that support Indigenous communities.
Bush food is an integral part of Australia’s history, it’s about time we embrace our own culture for a more sustainable future.